Jesus’ disciples had been working hard, teaching people and healing them. Jesus called them to go away with Him to a desolate place so they could rest. By now, Jesus’ popularity was so great that finding a place to be alone was difficult. When Jesus and His disciples crossed the Sea of Galilee, the crowd of people were already waiting for them on the other side.
Jesus saw the crowds. He wasn’t frustrated or angry. He didn’t tell them to go away. Instead, He had compassion on them because they were lost—like sheep without a shepherd. Jesus is the Good Shepherd who seeks and saves the lost. (See Luke 19:10; John 10:14.)
The miracle Jesus performed that evening—feeding 5,000 men plus women and children—is the only miracle during Jesus’ earthly ministry that is recorded in all four Gospels. God was clearly at work. The same God who provided manna for the Israelites in the wilderness multiplied loaves and fish to satisfy the crowd.
By feeding the five thousand, Jesus provided for the physical needs of the crowd. The next day, Jesus called Himself the bread of life. (John 6:35) Only Jesus is able to satisfy our souls forever by providing forgiveness, friendship with God, and eternal life.
But Jesus didn’t intend to only meet the people’s physical needs. He came to satisfy their spiritual needs as well. No one who comes to Jesus will ever be hungry, and no one who believes in Him will ever be thirsty again.
Jesus is the bread that came down from heaven. (See John 6:41.) God provided His Son as the perfect sacrifice to take away our sin. At the first Lord’s Supper, Jesus broke bread—a symbol of His death on the cross. (See Matt. 26:26.)
As you talk about this Bible story, help your kids know that God can and will provide for our needs. We can trust Him for our “daily bread.” (See Matt. 6:11.) God met our greatest need in giving us salvation through Jesus. Will He not graciously give us all things? (Rom. 8:32)
FAMILY STARTING POINTS
- Babies and Toddlers
- Jesus did miracles.
- Jesus loved people and healed them.
- Jesus fed the crowd with five loaves and two fish.
- Jesus showed people He provides.
- Why did Jesus perform miracles? Jesus performed miracles to show He is God’s Son.
- Jesus fed 5,000 people.
- Why did Jesus perform miracles? Jesus performed miracles to glorify God and prove He is God the Son.
- Jesus fed 5,000 people with five loaves and two fish.
UNIT KEY PASSAGE
- John 20:31
- “Jesus Walked on Water” (Matthew 14:22-33)