Feeding the Crowds
Jesus and His disciples took a boat across the Sea of Galilee, for Jesus wished to get away from the busy towns. But as they sailed, they spotted a huge crowd walking along the shore. When the boat reached the other side, Jesus and the disciples got out and went to the hillside. Jesus saw this crowd coming toward them. He turned to Philip and said, "Where shall we buy food for these people?"
Philip looked up in surprise. "It would take a fortune to feed all these people!" he exclaimed.
"Here's a boy who's willing to share," announced Andrew. "He only has five loaves of bread and two little fish. That couldn't feed many people."
"Tell everyone to sit down," said Jesus with a smile. Soon the huge crowd was seated on the green, grassy slope. Jesus thanked God for the boy's lunch. Then He broke the bread and fish and gave it to the crowd. Everyone ate. Soon they were full!
"Now," said Jesus, "gather all the leftovers, and be sure not to waste any." The disciples filled twelve baskets. And the crowd was amazed!
One of the main foods of the Passover meal was bread. Passover was celebrated every year by the Israelites as a reminder of how God rescues them from slavery in Egypt, so Jesus knew that the symbol of bread would be meaningful to his audience.
The bread we buy in the grocery store gives life. But that bread molds and spoils. Jesus said he can give us bread that is everlasting. And Jesus is that bread. We are nourished by Jesus when we begin trusting him. When we rely on Jesus for taking care of our needs, he gives us eternal life.