The apostles came to Jesus and told him about all the teaching that they had done. He had them come away in a boat with him to a remote place to rest for a little bit. They needed to do this because so many people were coming to them that they didn’t even have time to eat. However, many people recognized them as they were leaving and they followed them on foot across the land from all the towns, and got there ahead of them.
Jesus saw a huge crowd as he stepped ashore and he felt compassion for them because they were lost, like sheep without a shepherd. He greeted them, talked to them about the kingdom of God, and healed anyone who was sick.
Late in the day, his disciples came up to him and said “This place is a wilderness and it is already long past suppertime. Make them leave, so they can go find food and a place to stay in the nearby villages, because there’s nothing here.”
“They don’t need to leave” Jesus said. “You give them their supper.” (For he knew what he was going to do.)
Philip answered “Should we go into town and buy 200 denarii worth of bread? It wouldn’t be enough for a crowd this large.”
Then, his disciple Andrew reported that there was a boy in the crowd who had five barley loaves and two fish, but even that wasn’t enough for so many people. About 5000 men, in addition to women and children, were there.
Jesus had his disciples get the people to sit down on the grass in groups of about 50. He took the five loaves and two fish, looked up into heaven, and then he gave thanks. He broke the loaves and fish into pieces and gave them to his disciples to give to the crowd. He kept giving food to the disciples for them to distribute. Everyone ate to their heart’s content.
At the end of the meal he told his disciples “Gather up the leftovers so that nothing is wasted.” They were able to fill 12 baskets full of leftovers!
When the people realized the miracle that Jesus had done, they said to themselves “This really is the Messiah who we have been waiting for!”
When Jesus realized that they were about to forcefully take him away to make him king he withdrew by himself to a mountain.
MT 14:13-21, MK 6:30-44, LK 9:10-17, JN 6:1-15