The Feeding of the Five Thousand
Text: John 6:1-14 (also Matthew 14:13-21, Mark 6:33-44, Luke 9:10-17)
I. Jesus traveled to the other side of the sea of Galilee by boat with his disciples
A. Near Bethseda - Luke 9:10
B. A large crowd followed Jesus on foot, even to the remote area because he was healing the sick
1. They met Jesus at the water’s edge - Matthew 14:13
2. He not only healed, but taught the people - Mark 6:34
3. Specifically about the kingdom of God - Luke 9:11
C. From the sea’s edge he went up into the mountains and sat there with his disciples just before the next Passover
1. This is the third Passover mentioned in John - John 2:23, John 5:1, John 6:4
2. So we are nearing the end of the second year of Jesus’ teaching
D. The crowd even followed him there. - Matthew 14:15
E. By the way, this is one of the rare events that all four Gospel writers recorded.
II. Jesus asked Philip where they could buy bread for this crowd
A. Jesus was not interested in purchasing bread, but to test Philip
B. The disciples suggested sending the people away so they could find food
1. But Jesus said the disciples should feed the crowd.
C. Philip said the crowd was so large that 200 days wages would not purchase enough bread for the people gathered.
D. Another disciple, Andrew, overheard the conversation and mentioned that one young boy had 5 loaves and two fish, but that wouldn’t be noticed in this crowd.
1. This was all the food they could find among the people - Mark 6:38
2. But Jesus asked for the food
III. Jesus had everyone seated
A. This allowed the people to be counted. - Mark 6:40
B. There was 5,000 men, which did not include the women and children. - Matthew 14:21
C. Jesus blessed the bread and then began to distribute it.
D. Jesus then blessed the fish and began to distribute it.
E. Everyone ate as much as they wanted until all were full
IV. Jesus asked the disciples to gather up the leftovers
A. They filled twelve baskets with the leftover food!
B. This is the reason for gathering, so the people would be aware of what was done.
C. They concluded that Jesus had to be the Prophet that Moses prophesied about.
V. Could this miracle have been faked?
A. It was done in front of a large crowd
B. Jesus documented that there was insufficient funds and insufficient food to feed this many.
C. They were far from a town to purchase the food, even if they had enough money
D. The quantity of food remaining far exceeded the food with which they started
VI. Some modern theologians put the emphasis on the boy sharing his food, but this is not the point of the story.
A. The boy’s food was far from being adequate to feed such a crowd.
B. Jesus knew what he was going to do before the boy’s food was offered.