Part VIII.
The Special Training of the Twelve in Districts Around Galilee


Section 72.
Feeding 5,000

Matthew 14:13-21

Mark 6:30-44

30 The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to Him all that they had done and taught.

Luke 9:10-17

John 6:1-13

13 When Jesus heard about it, He withdrew from there by boat to a remote place to be alone.

31 He said to them, "Come away by yourselves to a remote place and rest a while."

For many people were coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat. 32 So they went away in the boat by themselves to a remote place, 33 but many saw them leaving and recognized them. People ran there by land from all the towns and arrived ahead of them.a

10 When the apostles returned, they reported to Jesus all that they had done. He took them along and withdrew privately to aa town called Bethsaida.

1 After this, Jesus crossed the Sea of Galilee (or Tiberias). 2 And a huge crowd was following Him because they saw the signs that He was performing on the sick. 3 So Jesus went up a mountain and sat down there with His disciples.

When the crowds heard this, they followed Him on foot from the towns. 14 As He stepped ashore,a He saw a huge crowd, felt compassion for them, and healed their sick.

a14:14 Lit Coming out (of the boat)

34 So as He stepped ashore, He saw a huge crowd and had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. Then He began to teach them many things.

a6:33 Other mss add and gathered around Him

11 When the crowds found out, they followed Him. He welcomed them, spoke to them about the kingdom of God, and curedb those who needed healing.

a9:10 Other mss add deserted place near a b9:11 Or healed; in this passage, different Gk words are translated as heal. In Eng, "to heal" or "to cure" are synonyms with little distinction in meaning. Technically, we do not heal or cure diseases. People are healed or cured from diseases.

Mt 14:13 remote place: The wilderness or unpopulated area east of Galilee.

Mk 6:34, 39 The description of the people as "sheep without a shepherd" recalls numerous OT indictments against Israel's leaders and the promises that God Himself would shepherd His people (Ezk 34). Jesus acts as the divine Shepherd (Ezk 34:11-16) and the Davidic servant (Ezk 34:23-24). As a faithful shepherd, Jesus causes His sheep to recline in green pastures and prepares food for them so that they will not be in want (Ps 23:1-2, 5).

Jn 6:1-71 The feeding of 5,000 constitutes yet another of Jesus' messianic "signs," placing Jesus in the line of God's provision of manna to Israel in the wilderness through Moses (see 6:30-31). In response to the people's challenge to perform a sign greater than Moses' signs and wonders at the exodus, Jesus claimed to be the "bread of life" that provides spiritual nourishment for all those who believe in Him and "eat His flesh" and "drink His blood." This statement proved too difficult even for many of Jesus' disciples, who stopped following Jesus at this watershed in His ministry (6:60-66). The Twelve, however, through Peter as their spokesman, reaffirmed their allegiance to Jesus.

Matthew 14:13-21 (cont.)

15 When evening came, the disciples approached Him and said, "This place is a wilderness, and it is already late.a Send the crowds away so they can go into the villages and buy food for themselves."

16 "They don't need to go away," Jesus told them. "You give them something to eat."

Mark 6:30-44 (cont.)

35 When it was already late, His disciples approached Him and said, "This place is a wilderness, and it is already late! 36 Send them away, so they can go into the surrounding countryside and villages to buy themselves something to eat."

37 "You give them something to eat," He responded.

They said to Him, "Should we go and buy 200 denarii worth of bread and give them something to eat?"

38 And He asked them, "How many loaves do you have? Go look."

Luke 9:10-17 (cont.)

12 Late in the day,a the Twelve approached and said to Him, "Send the crowd away, so they can go into the surrounding villages and countryside to find food and lodging, because we are in a deserted place here."

13 "You give them something to eat," He told them.

"We have no more than five loaves and two fish," they said, "unless we go and buy food for all these people." 14 (For about 5,000 men were there.)

John 6:1-13 (cont.)

4 Now the Passover, a Jewish festival, was near.

5 Therefore, when Jesus looked up and noticed a huge crowd coming toward Him, He asked Philip, "Where will we buy bread so these people can eat?" 6 He asked this to test him, for He Himself knew what He was going to do.

7 Philip answered, "Two hundred denarii worth of bread wouldn't be enough for each of them to have a little."

8 One of His disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, said to Him, 9 "There's a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish—but what are they for so many?"