Feeding the 5000

5 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?” 6 He said this to test him, for he himself knew what he would do. 7 Philip answered him, “Two hundred denarii worth of bread would not be enough for each of them to get a little.” 8 One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said to him, 9 “There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish, but what are they for so many?” 10 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. 11 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. 12 And when they had eaten their fill, he told his disciples, “Gather up the leftover fragments, that nothing may be lost.” 13 So they gathered them up and filled twelve baskets with fragments from the five barley loaves left by those who had eaten. (John 6:5-13)

Think about all the places you have eaten a meal in the last week. Maybe you ate at home, at school, at church, at a restaurant, at a friend’s house, outside at a picnic table, or even in your car! 

Recently, at Bible Drill here at Nashville First, Mrs. Mary and Mrs. Shannon prepared pancakes, sausage links, and strawberries for the Bible drillers’ lunch. Mrs. Shannon scooped batter from a big bowl onto the griddle. She flipped two pancakes onto each child’s plate. Some children put butter on their pancakes; some did not. Everyone liked the syrup. When Mrs. Shannon ran out of batter, guess what? Mrs. Mary brought more, and there were pancakes for everyone! 

John 6:5-13 tells about a time when a crowd of at least 5000 people gathered to hear Jesus teach about God. After a while, everyone was hungry, but there was no food. One of Jesus’ disciples, Andrew, said to Jesus: “There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two small fish.” Jesus knew what to do, and His disciples followed His instructions. 

Jesus took the boy’s lunch and thanked God for it. He gave the lunch to the disciples, who shared it with the hungry people. The Bible says that everyone had as much as they wanted, and then the disciples gathered up 12 baskets of leftovers! 

Can you imagine sharing one hot dog with everyone at a basketball game? It’s just not humanly possible to feed 5000 people with one lunch. But Jesus did it. When Jesus performed miracles like feeding 5000 people, everyone knew that He (and God) could do amazing things. When you enjoy your lunch today, thank God for all the amazing things He can do. 

Writer: Joy Fisher

Joy Fisher has been a member at Nashville First since she was a teenager. She and David are active in the Open Door connect group. She loves teaching Bible Drill on Sundays and Mission Friends on Wednesday nights. They have three children.