The Feeding of the 5000



            After these things Jesus went over the Sea of Galilee, which is the Sea of Tiberias. Then a great multitude followed Him, because they saw His signs which He performed on those who were diseased. And Jesus went up on the mountain, and there He sat with His disciples. Now the Passover, a feast of the Jews, was near. Then Jesus lifted up His eyes, and seeing a great multitude coming toward Him, He said to Philip, “Where shall we buy bread, that these may eat?” But this He said to test him, for He himself knew what He would do. Philip answered Him, “Two hundred denarii worth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one of them may have a little.” One of His disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said to Him, “There is a lad here who has five barley loaves and two small fish, but what are they among so many?” Then Jesus said, “Make the people sit down.” Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, in number about five thousand. And Jesus took the loaves, and when He had given thanks He distributed them to the disciples, and the disciples to those sitting down; and likewise of the fish, as much as they wanted. So when they were filled, He said to His disciples, “Gather up the fragments that remain, so that nothing is lost.” Therefore they gathered them up, and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves which were left over by those who had eaten. Then those men, when they had seen the sign that Jesus did, said, “This is truly the Prophet who is to come into the world.”

John 6:1-14


Possible Discussion Questions:

  1. What might be the significance of the timing of this miracle at Passover?
  2. What reasons might the multitude have had for following Jesus into the wilderness? Was it worth it? Would you?
  3. Why might Jesus have asked Philip of all the disciples? What does Philip’s answer reveal about his mindset?
  4. Why does Andrew speak up?
  5. What do you suppose the “lad” was thinking? What were his options?
  6. What might have happened if the lad had kept his food? If the men had not sat down? If the disciples had refused to hand out the meal?
  7. Any significance to the meal consisting of loaves and fish? Why do we have 5 loaves for the Eucharist?
  8. Why would only men be counted?
  9. Any significance in the leftovers filling exactly 12 baskets?
  10. Why did this particular sign lead the men to proclaim Jesus the Messiah?