13 – Feeding Five Thousand
John 6:1–13, 35
Jesus feeds 5,000 men and their families
Did you know?
- Philip, Andrew and Simon Peter were some of Jesus’ twelve disciples.
- The Passover was the most important Jewish festival.
- The five loaves were five small cakes.
- Jews and Christians give thanks to God before they have a meal.
The meaning of the story
A large crowd had been following Jesus all day, and they were hungry. Jesus told the disciples to feed these people. It seems impossible to feed so many people with so little food. In the boat on the lake, the disciples did not trust the power of Jesus. Again, they failed Jesus’ test.
In the beginning, God made everything out of nothing. Here, Jesus did what God did. He made lots of food out of a small meal. At the end of the meal, everybody was happy. They had all had plenty to eat. There was food left over. If the crowd had been even bigger, there would still have been enough food for everyone.
Jesus told the crowd that he was ‘the bread of life’. Without food, we will die. But more important than our physical life is our spiritual life. That is, our life in relationship with God. That is the life that goes on forever. Jesus gives us this life.
Who is Jesus?
Again, we see Jesus doing what only God can do. Jesus makes food to give the people life. The food he gives them is so good that they are all very happy.
Jesus was teaching the people an important lesson. We all need physical bread to stay alive. In the same way, we all need the Lord Jesus, the bread of life, to stay alive spiritually.
Jesus gives people true life that lasts forever.
Thinking about the story
- Why was the large crowd following Jesus?
- What was the test Jesus gave to his friends?
- Why does John tell us that the people ate as much as they wanted? What does this tell us about Jesus?
- What did Jesus mean when he called himself ‘the bread of life’?