Jesus Feeds the Multitude (John 6: 1-16)

The multiplication of the loaves and fish is one of the many miracles of Jesus. We can read the story of this miraculous episode in the New Testament, in the Gospel of John. It is told that Jesus was able to feed more than 5000 people with just 5 loaves of bread, and 2 fishes. Let us discover this Bible passage, and see how the grace of God can make great feats from even the smallest of things.


The Multiplication of the Loaves and Fish

1 After these things Jesus went away to the other side of the Sea of Galilee (or Tiberias). 

2 A large crowd was following Him, because they were watching the signs which He was performing on those who were sick. 

3 But Jesus went up on the mountain, and there He sat with His disciples. 

4 Now the Passover, the feast of the Jews, was near. 

5 So Jesus, after raising His eyes and seeing that a large crowd was coming to Him, said to Philip, “Where are we to buy bread so that these people may eat?” 

6 But He was saying this only to test him, for He Himself knew what He intended to do. 

7 Philip answered Him, “Two hundred denarii worth of bread is not enough for them, for each to receive just a little!” 

8 One of His disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said to Him, 

9 “There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish; but what are these for so many people?”

10 Jesus said, “Have the people recline to eat.” Now there was plenty of grass in the place. So the men reclined, about five thousand in number. 

11 Jesus then took the loaves, and after giving thanks He distributed them to those who were reclining; likewise also of the fish, as much as they wanted. 

12 And when they had eaten their fill, He *said to His disciples, “Gather up the leftover pieces so that nothing will be lost.”

13 So they gathered them up, and filled twelve baskets with pieces from the five barley loaves which were left over by those who had eaten. 

14 Therefore when the people saw the sign which He had performed, they said, “This is truly the Prophet who is to come into the world.”

Five Loaves and Two Fish

Feeding a huge crowd of people was a challenge. Jesus first turned to His disciple Philipp, who didn’t seem to find a solution to the problem. He said: “two hundred denarii worth of bread is not enough for them, for each to receive just a little!”, meaning, “it’s impossible, there is nothing to be done!”. But Andrew saw things differently. He managed to find at least 5 loaves of bread and two fish, which was quite small, but it was also a start, and it would be enough for Jesus to perform His miracle. Let us ask the Lord to grant us the heart of a child every day, the heart of someone who has little to offer, but wants to do a lot. Let’s offer all we have, the Lord will know how to multiply it for the glory of His name.


A Perpetual Prayer of Thanksgiving

When Jesus saw the small portion of food Andrew brought to Him, He did not lose patience or lamented. He thanked the Lord for the meal. We all have our reasons to thank the Lord: maybe we are still looking for a home, a job, a diploma or good health, but we already have the breath and presence of the Lord on our side. Let’s count our blessings, and, as David said: “Praise the Lord, my soul”. 

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