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John 6:1 Feeding Five Thousand

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Feeding Five Thousand

Because Jesus healed many people, they followed Him. One day Jesus asked his disciples about feeding Five thousand men. Jesus took loaves, blessed them and fed the Five thousand.

This is a Bible Study. Have your own Bible handy to look up the references mentioned.

If you do not have a Bible, I invite you to go to or another online Bible.

John 6:1-25

1. Jesus “had left Jerusalem and probably had come up on the east side of the Jordon River. Now He crosses over the Sea of Galilee, and, apparently, comes to the north section. This took about six months to a year after the events of chapter 5.” (McGee, J. Vernon, Thru the Bible: Volume IV: [Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1983], 400)

2. “The crowds that followed Jesus to this area were impressed by the signs he performed on the sick, and they were willing to follow him even into remote areas.” (Borchert, Gerald L., The New American Commentary Volume 25A, John 1-11. [Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2002], 251)

The crowd “didn’t actually believe in Him in a saving way. They didn’t trust Him. They were interested in His miracles. They wanted Him because He could make them well.” (McGee, 401)

“The mission of Jesus was not to restore our physical bodies. He wants to be Lord of our hearts.” (McGee, 401)

3. “The hills in this region would provide an idea place for Jesus to climb and sit down with his disciples.” (Borchert, 251)

4. “The Passover was near.” (McGee, 401)

Feeding Five Thousand

5. In Mark 6:35-36 and Matthew 15:23 the disciples suggested that the crowd be sent away to find food.

“But Jesus knew that the hungry people would faint on the way if somebody did not feed them. It was evening (Matthew 14:15), and that was no time for travel.” (Wiersbe, Warren W, The Bible Exposition Commentary New Testament Volume 1 Matthew-Galatians. [Colorado Springs: David C Cook, 2004], 309)

I also am hungry after even a short hike in the mountains. These people had been with Jesus a long time and, no doubt, they were hungry. Jesus realized this.

Here in this chapter, Jesus asked Philip Whence shall we buy bread, that these may eat?

6. Jesus knew what He was going to do. The question to Philip was a test!

McGee suggests that there might have been “fifteen thousand people” including women and children.” (401)

“When Philip saw them coming, he wasn’t thinking of a miracle at all.” (McGee, 401)

7. “The ‘penny’ was the Roman coin denarius. One denarius represented a day’s wages for a common laborer.” (McGee, 401)

“Two hundred denarii would be approximately eight months’ wages.” (MacArthur, John, The MacArthur Bible Commentary. [Nashville, Thomas Nelson Inc., 2005], 1372)

“Philip says they don’t have enough money to buy sufficient bread.” (McGee, 402)

8-9. Andrew “found a little boy who had a small lunch: two little fish and five barley cakes.” (Wiersbe, 309)

Andrew said what I would say, this isn’t going to feed so many people!

Jesus’ Solution

10. “Jesus told them to make the men sit down and they sat down. Mark (Mark 6:39) emphasizes the fact that they sat down by companies; that is, each of the groups of people which had come from a certain section sat down together.” (McGee, 402)

11. Jesus gave thanks, and the disciples took the food to the people

12. Now, go get what is left over!

13. “There were twelve baskets of sandwiches that weren’t even touched.” (McGee, 403)

“There were many people in the crowd there that day who for the first time in their lives had their tummies filled. You see, when the Lord Jesus does anything, He does a good job of it.” (McGee, 403)

14. “The crowd referred to ‘the Prophet’ of Deuteronomy 18:15. Sadly, these comments, coming right after Jesus healed and fed them, indicate that the people desire a Messiah who met their physical rather than spiritual, needs.” (MacArthur, 1372)

15. “Apparently in the crowd there were not merely quietistic followers but political activists who were not content with confession but were set on revolutionary king-making-actions.” (Borchert, 257)

Walking on Water

“The story of Jesus walking on the water appears in Mark (6:45-52) and Matthew (14:22-32) as well as here in John. “(Borchardt, 257)

16-17. Mark and Matthew “focus on the aspect of Jesus’ departure as a desire for spiritual retreat, John’s focus is on Jesus’ effort to avoid involvement in political revolution.” (Borchardt, 257)

It “begins with a note concerning evening or darkness. Such a notion in John usually is not merely chronological (cf. 3:2; 13:20) but also theologically instructive. Darkness may describe not only the setting but also the disciples’ theological situation as they entered a boat.” (Borchardt, 258)

18-19. “During this journey they encountered a severe storm on the lake, and in spite of all their rowing efforts, they only appear to have covered about ‘three or three and a half’ miles.” (Borchardt, 258)

“The disciples had experienced great joy in being part of a thrilling miracle. Now they had to face a storm and learn to trust the Lord more. The feeding of the five thousand was the lesson, but the storm was the examination after the lesson.” (Wiersbe, 310)

20-21. “Jesus came to them in the storm. And that is a time He comes to His own today. He makes Himself more real to us in a time of trouble and sorrow.” (McGee, 403)

We don’t know why Jesus comes in the middle of a storm; “perhaps that is the only time we will listen to Him.” (McGee, 403)

When Jesus entered the boat, they arrived on land.

“Jesus in this story is represented like the God of the Old Testament, who brings his people from a stormy sea to a safe haven (Psalm 107:23-32).” (Borchardt, 259)


Amplified Bible (AMP)
Copyright © 2015 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, CA 90631. All rights reserved.

Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)
Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2009 by Holman Bible Publishers, Nashville Tennessee. All rights reserved.

New King James Version (NKJV)
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

In this article Scripture quotations taken from KJV.

Borchert, Gerald L., The New American Commentary Volume 25A, John 1-11. Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2002
McGee, J. Vernon, Thru the Bible: Volume IV: Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1983
MacArthur, John, The MacArthur Bible Commentary. Nashville, Thomas Nelson Inc., 2005
Wiersbe, Warren W, The Bible Exposition Commentary New Testament Volume 1 Matthew-Galatians. Colorado Springs: David C Cook, 2004

Witness                                                                                                                 Give Us this Bread

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