Feeding the 5000
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 an immense crowd as he stepped ashore and he felt compassion for them because they were lost. They were 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.” Jesus knew what he was planning 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
Walking on water
Jesus immediately made his disciples get into the boat and travel ahead of him across the Sea of Galilee, while he sent away the crowd. Jesus went by himself to a mountain to pray. He was there alone when evening came.
From up on the mountain, he was able to see that the boat was in the middle of the sea, far from land. A very windy storm came up and the sea began to get choppy. The boat was being battered by the waves and the disciples were struggling because they were rowing against the wind.
Jesus came walking on the water towards them around three in the morning, and he meant to walk by them. When they saw him they cried out in terror because they thought he was a ghost.
Immediately Jesus spoke to them saying “Have courage! It’s me! Don’t be afraid.”
MT 14:22-27, MK 6:45-50, JN 6:16-20
Peter called out to him, “Lord if it’s really you, command me to come to you.”
“Come!” Jesus said.
Peter climbed out of the boat and started walking on the water towards Jesus. But he became afraid when he saw the size of the waves and the strength of the wind. He began to sink, and he cried out “Lord save me!”
Jesus immediately reached out his hand and caught Peter. He was surprised at how little faith Peter had, and said “Why did you doubt?”
When they were together on the boat, the wind ceased.
MT 14:32, MK 6:51a
Then everyone there said “You are truly the Son of God!”
(Yet another Gospel says that)
They were confused and amazed because they had not yet come to understand even the miracle of the loaves. Instead their hearts were hard and they had a hard time believing.
They reached the other side and landed the boat at Gennesaret. People immediately recognized Jesus when he got out of the boat. They brought everyone who was sick to him, even carrying some on stretchers.
Whether he went into towns, villages, or the countryside, people brought the sick to him. They begged just to be able to touch the fringe (the tzitzit) of his robe. Everyone who touched it was healed.
MT 14:34-36, MK 6:53-56
The bread of life
The next day, the crowd that had remained on the other shore knew only one boat had been there. Likewise, they knew that Jesus had not gotten on board with his disciples and that they had gone off without him. Some boats from Tiberias approached the site where Jesus had fed the large crowd after giving thanks for the bread. When this crowd noticed that Jesus and his disciples weren’t there, they boarded the boats and set sail for Capernaum to look for Jesus.
They found him when they reached the opposite shore, and said “When did you get here, Rabbi?”
Jesus answered “Truly, you went searching for me not because you saw miracles happen, but because you were filled by the loaves of bread you ate. Don’t spend your energy on food that rots. Seek the food that remains so you have eternal life instead. The Son of Man will give you this because God the Father has approved him.”
“How do we perform God’s works?” they asked.
Jesus answered “This is God’s work – believe in the One he sent.”
They questioned him further, saying “By what sign will we know that you are the One? Our ancestors ate manna in the wilderness. The Scriptures say ‘Moses gave them bread from heaven to eat.'”
Jesus replied “That bread didn’t come from Moses. My Father gives you the true bread from heaven. God’s bread is the One who is sent by God from heaven to give life to the world.”
Then they said “Sir, give us that bread forever!”
Jesus told them “I am the bread of life. Those who come to me will never be hungry again. Those who believe in me will never be thirsty again. But as I’ve said before, you have seen me and still you don’t believe. Everyone who my Father has sent to me will come to me, and I will never reject them. I have come down from heaven to do the will of the One who sent me, and not my own. This is the will of God – that I shall not lose anyone God has sent to me, and that I should raise them up to everlasting life on the last day. My Father’s will is for everyone who sees and believes in the Son to have eternal life and be raised up on the last day.”
Certain Jews began to argue about him because he said “I am the bread that descended from heaven.” They were saying “Don’t we know his parents? Isn’t this Jesus the son of Joseph? Why is he saying ‘I have descended from heaven.’ ?”
Jesus answered “Stop arguing among yourselves. The only people who come to me are those who the Father calls, and I will raise them up on the final day. The prophets wrote ‘Everyone will be taught by God.’ Everyone who has been taught by God and hears God’s voice comes to me. The only one who has seen the Father is the one who is sent from God. I’m telling you the truth: anyone who believes already has eternal life. I am the bread of life. Your ancestors ate manna in the wilderness and they are dead now. The bread that I’m telling you about is the bread that comes from heaven, and anyone who eats it will never die. I am that living bread from heaven. My own body is the bread that I will give so that the world will live.”
Some of the Jews began to argue about this, saying “How can he give us his flesh to eat?”
Jesus answered “Truly, you do not have life in you unless you eat the flesh and drink the blood of the Son of Man. Anyone who does this will have eternal life, and I will raise them up on the last day, because my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. Anyone who eats my flesh and drinks my blood is alive in me, and I am in him. In the same way that the living Father sent me and I am alive because of the Father’s will, anyone who feeds on me will be full of life through me. The bread that came down from heaven is not like that which your ancestors ate. They have died, but this bread makes those who eat it live forever.”
Jesus said all of this while he was teaching in the Capernaum synagogue.
Many disciples desert Jesus
Many of Jesus’ disciples said “This is a difficult teaching! Who can understand it?” after they heard this.
Jesus knew that his disciples were complaining about this teaching, so he asked them “Are you offended by this? What would you think if you saw the Son of Man returning to heaven? The Holy Spirit gives life. There is nothing to be gained from the flesh. What I have spoken to you is spirit, and is life. But some of you don’t believe.”
Jesus knew from the start who would believe as well as which one would betray him.
He said “This is what I meant when I told you that only those who the Father calls can come to me.”
Many of his disciples left at this point and no longer followed him. Jesus then said to the Twelve “Are you going to leave too?”
Simon Peter answered “Who would we go to, Lord? Your words contain the way of eternal life. We now believe in our
hearts and know that you are the Messiah, the Holy One of God!”
Jesus replied “I chose you Twelve, yet one of you is full of darkness.” He was speaking about Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, one of the twelve disciples, because he was going to betray Jesus.
Handwashing: The tradition of the elders
Some Pharisees and other Jewish leaders traveled from Jerusalem to question Jesus. They asked “Why do your disciples not follow the tradition of the elders? They don’t practice the ritual of ceremonially washing their hands before they eat.”
Jesus asked them “Why do you follow your tradition and break God’s commandments? You have made God’s commandments invalid so that you could preserve your tradition. For example, Moses said “Honor your father and mother,” and “Whoever speaks against his parents must be put to death”. But instead you say that people should give their gifts to the Temple instead of helping out their needy parents. You make it impossible for people to do anything for their parents. You have done away with God’s word by your man-made traditions. And you do many other things like this.
The prophet Isaiah spoke correctly about you hypocrites when he said ‘These people draw near to Me with what they say, but their hearts are far from Me. In vain they worship Me because they teach the rules of men as if they are My commandments.’”
MT 15:1-9, MK 7:1-13, LK 11:37-38
Defilement is from within
Jesus gathered the crowd around him and asked them to listen carefully to what he was about to say. “It isn’t what you put into your mouth that makes you defiled. Instead it’s what comes out of your mouth that gets you into trouble.”
Then he went into the house and away from the crowd. The disciples asked him if he knew that the Pharisees were offended by his remarks. Jesus answered “Every plant not planted by my Father will be uprooted, so don’t worry about them. They are blind leaders, and they are guiding blind people. Both they and those who follow them will fall into a pit.”
Then Peter and the other disciples asked him to explain this to them.
He said “Do you also not understand? Don’t you yet understand that nothing a man puts into himself can make him unclean? It doesn’t go into his heart. Instead it goes into his stomach and then passes out of him. But what comes out of the mouth comes from the heart and that makes him unclean. Deep within people’s hearts come evil thoughts, inappropriate sexual practices, murders, theft, pride, deceit, lying and blasphemy. All these things cause defilement, but eating without ceremonially washing your hands doesn’t harm you at all.”
MT 15:10-20, MK 7:14-23
A Gentile mother’s faith
Jesus traveled to the area of Tyre and Sidon. A woman who wasn’t Jewish approached him and kept crying out to him “Have mercy on me Lord, son of David! My daughter is tormented by an unclean spirit.” Jesus didn’t reply to her, but his disciples approached him and asked him to make her go away because she kept following them and yelling for help.
Jesus said “I am called to help only the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”
But the woman came and knelt before him, begging him to drive the demon out of her daughter.
He said “Let the children have their fill first, because it isn’t right to take their bread and throw it to the dogs.”
But she replied “Yes, but even the dogs under the table eat the crumbs that fall.”
Jesus answered “Your faith is great, woman. Because of how you answered, you will receive what you have asked for.”
Her daughter was free of the demon that very hour.
MT 15:21-28, MK 7:24-30
Healing many people
Jesus then traveled alongside the Sea of Galilee. He climbed up a mountain and sat down. Large crowds came to him there, bringing to him people who were lame, blind, deformed, mute, or had other maladies. He healed everyone who was brought to him.
The crowd was amazed when they saw those who were mute began to speak, those who were lame able to walk, and those who were blind able to see. Even people who were deformed were made whole. Everyone in the crowd gave glory to the God of Israel.
A man who was deaf and had a speech impediment was brought there by a person who begged Jesus to lay his hands on the man and heal him.
Jesus led him away from the crowds so he could heal him privately. He put his fingers in the man’s ears, spat, and then touched the man’s tongue. He then looked up to heaven, sighed deeply, and said in Aramaic “Ephphatha!” (which means “Be opened!”) The man was instantly freed from his afflictions and was able to see and speak perfectly.
He ordered the crowd to not tell anyone about what had happened, but the more he ordered them, the more they spread the news. They were amazed and told everyone “He does everything well! He even makes deaf people hear and cures people of being unable to speak!”
Feeding 4000 people
Another large crowd had gathered around Jesus. He called his disciples to him and said “I have compassion for this crowd because they have stayed with me three days and they have nothing to eat. If I send them home hungry then they might collapse on the way, and some of them have come from very far away.”
The disciples replied “Where can we possibly find enough bread in this isolated place to feed such a large crowd?” Jesus asked them “How many loaves do you have with you?” They answered “Seven, and a few small fish.”
He then ordered everyone in the crowd to sit down on the ground. Taking the seven loaves and the fish, he gave thanks and broke them into pieces. He kept on distributing the pieces to the disciples, who then gave them to the crowds. Everyone ate until they were full. They picked up seven large baskets of leftover pieces after the meal. There were 4000 men, along with women and children, in the crowd. He then dismissed the crowd, got into the boat with his disciples, and traveled to a different region.
MT 15:32-39, MK 8:1-10
The yeast of the Pharisees
The Pharisees and other Jewish leaders approached Jesus with a test, asking him to show them a sign from heaven.
He sighed deeply and said “You know how to read the signs in the sky. When the sky is red at night, you know there will be good weather the next day, and when the sky is red in the morning you know there will be storms. When you notice a cloud rising in the west you know a storm is coming, and you know it is going to be hot when the wind blows from the south. Yet you don’t know how to read the signs of the times! Why does this wicked generation demand to see a sign? It will see nothing except the sign of Jonah.”
He walked away from them, got back on the boat, and went to the other side of the sea. When they reached the other side, the disciples realized that they had forgotten to get more bread. They had only one loaf with them. Jesus said “Beware of the yeast of the Pharisees.” They began to talk among themselves about the fact that they didn’t have any more bread.
Jesus was aware of this and he said “Why are you talking about not having any more bread? Don’t you understand yet? Do you have eyes and ears and yet are blind and deaf? Don’t you remember how five loaves of bread were able to feed 5000 people, or that seven loaves of bread fed 4000 people? Remember the number of large baskets of leftover pieces? Why do you not understand that when I said ‘Beware the yeast of the Pharisees,’ I wasn’t talking about bread?”
Then they understood that he was talking about what the Pharisees taught, and their hypocrisy.
MT 16:1-12, MK 8:11-21, LK 12:1, LK 12:54-56
Healing a blind man
When Jesus and his disciples came to Bethsaida, some people brought a blind man to him and begged Jesus to heal him by touching him. Taking the man by the hand, Jesus led him out of the village. Jesus spat upon the man’s eyes and then laid his hands over them.
He then asked – “Are you able to see anything now?” The man looked up and said “I see people, but they look like tree trunks walking around.”
Jesus placed his hands over the man’s eyes again and his vision was fully restored. Jesus sent him home, saying “Don’t go back into the village or tell anyone there.”
Peter declares that Jesus is the Messiah
When Jesus and his disciples came to the area of Caesarea Philippi, a town north of the region of Galilee, he asked his disciples privately, “Who are people in the crowds saying I am?” They replied “Some say you are John the Baptist. Others think you are Elijah, and yet others think you are Jeremiah or one of the other prophets.”
Jesus faced them and said “But as for you, who do you say I am?”
Simon answered him saying “You are the Christ, the Messiah, the Son of the living God!”
MT 16:13-16, MK 8:27-29, LK 9:18-20
Jesus responded “Simon, son of Jonah, God has blessed you with this knowledge because you didn’t learn this from a person but directly from God!” Jesus continued, saying “Your name is now Peter, because you are a rock, and upon you I will build my living church. The gates of death will not overpower it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you join together on earth will be joined together in heaven, and whatever you separate on earth will be separated in heaven.”
Then he gave them very strict orders not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah.
MT 16:20, MK 8:30, LK 9:21a
Death predicted (Get thee behind me)
From that time on, Jesus began to let his disciples know that he must go up to Jerusalem, saying “The Son of Man is about to greatly suffer and be rejected by the elders, scribes, and the chief priests, and then rise after three days.
MT 16:21, MK 8:31, LK 9:21b-22
Speaking privately to him, Peter began to chide him, saying “Don’t say such things! This will never happen to you!” Jesus turned and told Peter “Get out of my way, Satan! You are not thinking about God’s needs but your own instead.”
MT 16:22-23, MK 8:32-33
Jesus said “I will acknowledge to God everyone who acknowledges me to other people. But if they deny me to other people, I will deny them when I stand before God. Anyone who wants to save his life will lose it, and the one who loses his life because of following me and my teachings will find it. You can only be my disciple if you deny your desires, bear your own cross, and follow me. How does it benefit you if you have all the possessions in the world but you lose your life? What can you exchange to get your life back?”
LK 9:23-26, LK 12:8-9, LK 14:27, LK 17:33, MK 8:34-38, MT 10:32-33, MT 10:38-39, MT 16:24-27, JN 12:25-26
Some will not die
“However, I tell you, there are some people standing here who won’t die before they see the kingdom of God.”
MK 9:1, LK 9:27, MT 16:28