This weeks covers two separate accounts of Jesus miraculously feeding multitudes of people. We’ll cover both the
feeding of the 5000 in Bethsaida (Jews) as well as the feeding of the 4000 in Decapolis (gentiles). Jesus is the bread of life, and His salvation is available to Jews and Gentiles!
Scripture references: the Feeding of the 5,000: Matthew 14:13-21, Mark 6:31-44, Luke 9:10-17 and John 6:5-15; Feeding of the 4,000: Matthew 15:32-16:10 and Mark 8:1-9
Memory Verse: “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to Me will never hunger, and whoever believes in Me will never thirst.” John 6:35
One day, Jesus said, “Let’s go off by ourselves to a quiet place and rest awhile.” He said this because there were so many people coming and going that Jesus and his apostles didn’t even have time to eat.So they left by boat for a quiet place, where they could be alone. But many people recognized them and saw them leaving, and people from many towns ran ahead along the shore and got there ahead of them. Jesus saw the huge crowd as he stepped from the boat, and he had compassion on them because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began healing them and teaching them many things.
Late in the afternoon his disciples came to him and said, “This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. 3Send the crowds away so they can go to the nearby farms and villages and buy something to eat.”
But Jesus said, “You feed them.”
“With what?” they asked. “We’d have to work for months to earn enough money to buy food for all these people!”
“How much bread do you have?” he asked. “Go and find out.”
They came back and reported, “We have five loaves of bread and two fish.”
Then Jesus told the disciples to have the people sit down in groups on the green grass. So they sat down in groups of fifty or a hundred.
Jesus took the five loaves and two fish, looked up toward heaven, and blessed them. Then, breaking the loaves into pieces, he kept giving the bread to the disciples so they could distribute it to the people. He also divided the fish for everyone to share. They all ate as much as they wanted, and afterward, the disciples picked up twelve baskets of leftover bread and fish. About 5,000 men were fed that day, in addition to all the women and children!
On another day, in the region of Decapolis, Jesus once again found himself surrounded by a multitude of people who were hungry for His ministry of healing and teaching, and He had compassion on them. They also became physically hungry, and once again, Jesus miraculously produced enough food for 4000 men in addition to the women and children, from seven loaves of bread.
Later, the crowds found Jesus again in another place, and Jesus told them, “I tell you the truth, it is not because you saw these signs that you are looking for Me, but because you ate the loaves and had your fill. Do not work for food that perishes, but for food that endures to eternal life.”
“Sir,” they said, “give us this bread at all times.”
Jesus answered, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to Me will never hunger, and whoever believes in Me will never thirst.” And as they asked more about it, Jesus explained that just as the mana came from heaven to give life to the Israelites in the wilderness, Jesus is the bread of life that comes down from Heaven to give Eternal Life to all who put their faith in Him!