Thursday, September 5, 2013
Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand
“After this Jesus went away to the other side of the Sea of Galilee, which is the Sea of Tiberias. And a large crowd was following him, because they saw the signs that he was doing on the sick. Jesus went up on the mountain, and there he sat down with his disciples. Now the Passover, the feast of the Jews, was at hand. Lifting up his eyes, then, and seeing that a large crowd was coming toward him, Jesus said to Philip, “Where are we to buy bread, so that these people may eat?” He said this to test him, for he himself knew what he would do. Philip answered him, “Two hundred denarii would not buy enough bread for each of them to get a little.” One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, said to him, “There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish, but what are they for so many?” Jesus said, “Have the people sit down.” Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, about five thousand in number. Jesus then took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed them to those who were seated. So also the fish, as much as they wanted. And when they had eaten their fill, he told his disciples, “Gather up the leftover fragments, that nothing may be lost.” (John 6:1-12 (ESV)
John records the feeding of the five thousand. It is a short and to the point narration. There are details shared in common with this story as it is told in the synoptic gospels, but there are some differences too. John is going by his own memory of the event.
The story sits here a while, but John will get back to it later in the text as Jesus begins to talk about the bread of life. John wanted to ground that in an event of Christ’s life, all of which will have some hints to the Lord’s Supper that Jesus will institute. Such as the fact that this event happens around the time of the Passover. As it is though, the miracle stands on its own. Jesus feeds the five thousand with five barley loaves and two fish. If we gather anything from this as it is, it is that Jesus cares for our physical wellbeing also. Finally it is from him that we receive all of our daily bread.