58 With five loaves, Jesus feeds five thousand men.

1 Kings 22:17; Numbers 27:17; Ezekiel 34:5; Matthew 14:13–21; Mark 6:30–44; Luke 9:10–17; John 6:1–13

How might the disciples going to cities without Jesus have affected their ministry when they were with him (Mark 6:30–31)?

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Who told Jesus about John the Baptizer’s death (Matthew 14:13)?

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How did the people know where Jesus was going (Mark 6:31–33)?

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Why did Jesus first want to get away from the crowd,  then reverse that decision (Mark 6:31–33)?

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How did Jesus draw the conclusion that the crowd was confused, like sheep without a shepherd (Mark 6:34)?

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As time for the evening meal approached, why did the disciples think the crowd wouldn’t leave on their own to buy food (Mark 6:35–36)?

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Why did Jesus ask the disciples to feed the people and not reveal what he could do (Mark 6:37)?

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For whose benefit had the five loaves and two fish been brought (Mark 6:38)?

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Why might it have been important to divide the crowd into groups of fifty (Luke 9:14)?

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Where do you think the disciples got containers to distribute fish to the people (Mark 6:41)?

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What impact would this miracle have had upon the crowd (Mark 6:42–43)? The disciples?

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What do you think the disciples did with the twelve baskets of leftover fish (Mark 6:42–43; John 6:14–15)?

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After their tour of ministry, the disciples gathered around Jesus and told him all they had said and done. People constantly came and went, so much so that they did not even have an opportunity to eat. It was almost time for the Jewish Passover feast.

Eyewitness

Mark 6:30–31 After their tour of ministry, the disciples gathered around Jesus and told him all they had said and done. People constantly came and went, so much so that they did not even have an opportunity to eat. Jesus said, “Let’s go to a desolate place where we can rest for a while.”
Luke 9:10 After their tour of ministry, the disciples gathered around Jesus and told him all they had said and done. Then he directed the disciples toward a desolate place in the region of Bethsaida.
John 6:4 It was almost time for the Jewish Passover feast.
King James

Mark 6:30–31 And the apostles gathered themselves together unto Jesus, and told him all things, both what they had done, and what they had taught. And he said unto them, Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while: for there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat.
Luke 9:10 And the apostles, when they were returned, told him all that they had done. And he took them, and went aside privately into a desert place belonging to the city called Bethsaida.
John 6:4 And the passover, a feast of the Jews, was nigh.

When Jesus heard about John the Baptizer’s death, he said, “Let’s go to a desolate place where we can rest for a while.” They went by boat across the Sea of Galilee, also known as the Sea of Tiberias, to an isolated place in the region of Bethsaida. Many people saw them leave and the direction they were heading. Because they had seen his miracles in healing the sick, they left their towns and hurried on foot, so a huge crowd was already at the shore when the boat arrived.

Eyewitness

Matthew 14:13–14 When Jesus heard about John the Baptizer’s death, he left by boat to a desolate place where he could be alone. But when the people heard where he was going, they left their towns and followed on foot. At the seashore, Jesus saw the huge crowd waiting for him. He was moved with compassion and healed their sick.
Mark 6:31–33 People constantly came and went, so much so that they did not even have an opportunity to eat. Jesus said, “Let’s go to a desolate place where we can rest for a while.” So they left by boat to an isolated place. Many people saw them leave and the direction they were heading. Out of all the nearby towns, they hurried on foot and were already at the shore when the boat arrived.
Luke 9:10–11 After their tour of ministry, the disciples gathered around Jesus and told him all they had said and done. Then he directed the disciples toward a desolate place in the region of Bethsaida. Many people saw them leave, and they followed him. Jesus welcomed them, preached the Kingdom of God, and healed their sick.
John 6:1–2 Later, Jesus crossed the Sea of Galilee, also known as the Sea of Tiberias. A huge crowd followed because they had seen his miracles in healing the sick.
King James

Matthew 14:13–14 When Jesus heard of it, he departed thence by ship into a desert place apart: and when the people had heard thereof, they followed him on foot out of the cities. And Jesus went forth, and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion toward them, and he healed their sick.
Mark 6:31–33 And he said unto them, Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while: for there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat. And they departed into a desert place by ship privately. And the people saw them departing, and many knew him, and ran afoot thither out of all cities, and outwent them, and came together unto him.
Luke 9:10–11 And the apostles, when they were returned, told him all that they had done. And he took them, and went aside privately into a desert place belonging to the city called Bethsaida. And the people, when they knew it, followed him: and he received them, and spake unto them of the kingdom of God, and healed them that had need of healing.
John 6:1–2 After these things Jesus went over the sea of Galilee, which is the sea of Tiberias. And a great multitude followed him, because they saw his miracles which he did on them that were diseased.

Jesus saw everyone waiting and was moved with compassion because he saw them as helpless and confused, like sheep without a shepherd. He went up on the hillside, sat there with his followers, and taught them many things. He preached the Kingdom of God and healed their sick.

Eyewitness

Numbers 27:17 He will be their leader, going in and out before them so the Lord’s people will not wander like sheep without a shepherd?
1 Kings 22:17 The prophet said, “I saw Israel scattered upon the hills like sheep without a shepherd, and the Lord said, ‘They have no leader. They should go home and not fight.'”
Ezekiel 34:5 Without a shepherd, the people were scattered and became prey for the wild beasts.
Matthew 14:14 At the seashore, Jesus saw the huge crowd waiting for him. He was moved with compassion and healed their sick.
Mark 6:34 Jesus saw the huge crowd waiting for him. He was moved with compassion because he saw them as helpless and confused, like sheep without a shepherd. He taught them many things.
Luke 9:11 Many people saw them leave, and they followed him. Jesus welcomed them, preached the Kingdom of God, and healed their sick.
John 6:3 Jesus went up on the hillside and sat there with his followers.
King James

Numbers 27:17 Which may go out before them, and which may go in before them, and which may lead them out, and which may bring them in; that the congregation of the LORD be not as sheep which have no shepherd.
1 Kings 22:17 And he said, I saw all Israel scattered upon the hills, as sheep that have not a shepherd: and the Lord said, These have no master: let them return every man to his house in peace.
Ezekiel 34:5 And they were scattered, because there is no shepherd: and they became meat to all the beasts of the field, when they were scattered.
Matthew 14:14 And Jesus went forth, and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion toward them, and he healed their sick.
Mark 6:34 And Jesus, when he came out, saw much people, and was moved with compassion toward them, because they were as sheep not having a shepherd: and he began to teach them many things.
Luke 9:11 And the people, when they knew it, followed him: and he received them, and spake unto them of the kingdom of God, and healed them that had need of healing.
John 6:3 And Jesus went up into a mountain, and there he sat with his disciples.

Late in the afternoon, the twelve said to Jesus, “We are far from town, and it is getting late. Send the people away so they can go to the farms and towns nearby and buy food.”

Eyewitness

Matthew 14:15 As evening grew near, the disciples said to Jesus, “We are far from town, and it is getting late. Send the people away so they can go to the towns and buy food.”
Mark 6:35–36 Late in the afternoon, the disciples said to Jesus, “We are far from town, and it is getting late. Send the people away so they can go to the farms and towns nearby and buy food.”
Luke 9:12 Late in the afternoon, the twelve said to Jesus, “We are far from town. Send the people away so they can go to the farms and towns nearby and buy food.”
King James

Matthew 14:15 And when it was evening, his disciples came to him, saying, This is a desert place, and the time is now past; send the multitude away, that they may go into the villages, and buy themselves victuals.
Mark 6:35–36 And when the day was now far spent, his disciples came unto him, and said, This is a desert place, and now the time is far passed: Send them away, that they may go into the country round about, and into the villages, and buy themselves bread: for they have nothing to eat.
Luke 9:12 And when the day began to wear away, then came the twelve, and said unto him, Send the multitude away, that they may go into the towns and country round about, and lodge, and get victuals: for we are here in a desert place.

Jesus said, “They do not have to leave. Why don’t you feed them?”

Eyewitness

Matthew 14:16 Jesus said, “They do not have to leave. Why don’t you feed them?”
Mark 6:37 Jesus said, “Why don’t you feed them?” “With what?” they said. “It would take over six months’ wages to buy enough food for this crowd!”
Luke 9:13 Jesus said, “Why don’t you feed them?” “With what?” they said. “All we have are five loaves and two fish. Or do you expect us to buy enough food for this gigantic crowd?”
King James

Matthew 14:16 But Jesus said unto them, They need not depart; give ye them to eat.
Mark 6:37 He answered and said unto them, Give ye them to eat. And they say unto him, Shall we go and buy two hundred pennyworth of bread, and give them to eat?
Luke 9:13 But he said unto them, Give ye them to eat. And they said, We have no more but five loaves and two fishes; except we should go and buy meat for all this people.

“With what?” they said. “Or do you expect us to buy enough food for this gigantic crowd?”

Eyewitness

Matthew 14:17 “With what?” they said. “All we have are five loaves and two fish.”
Mark 6:37 Jesus said, “Why don’t you feed them?” “With what?” they said. “It would take over six months’ wages to buy enough food for this crowd!”
Luke 9:13 Jesus said, “Why don’t you feed them?” “With what?” they said. “All we have are five loaves and two fish. Or do you expect us to buy enough food for this gigantic crowd?”
King James

Matthew 14:17 And they say unto him, We have here but five loaves, and two fishes.
Mark 6:37 He answered and said unto them, Give ye them to eat. And they say unto him, Shall we go and buy two hundred pennyworth of bread, and give them to eat?
Luke 9:13 But he said unto them, Give ye them to eat. And they said, We have no more but five loaves and two fishes; except we should go and buy meat for all this people.

Looking over the multitude, Jesus saw about five thousand men, plus women and children. He said to Philip, “Where can we buy bread to feed all these people?” He already knew what he was going to do, but said this to test him.

Eyewitness

Matthew 14:21 Besides the women and children, about five thousand men were fed.
Mark 6:44 Besides the women and children, about five thousand men were fed.
Luke 9:14 Besides the women and children, about five thousand men were there. Jesus said, “Have the people sit down in groups of about fifty.”
John 6:5–6 As Jesus looked over the multitude and saw how many there were, he said to Philip, “Where can we buy bread to feed all these people?” He already knew what he was going to do, but said this to test him.
John 6:10 “Have the people sit down.” There was a lot of grass where they were, so the men sat down, about five thousand, plus women and children.
King James

Matthew 14:21 And they that had eaten were about five thousand men, beside women and children.
Mark 6:44 And they that did eat of the loaves were about five thousand men.
Luke 9:14 For they were about five thousand men. And he said to his disciples, Make them sit down by fifties in a company.
John 6:5–6 When Jesus then lifted up his eyes, and saw a great company come unto him, he saith unto Philip, Whence shall we buy bread, that these may eat? And this he said to prove him: for he himself knew what he would do.
John 6:10 And Jesus said, Make the men sit down. Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, in number about five thousand.

Philip said, “Six months’ wages would not be enough to give everyone a few bites.”

Eyewitness

Mark 6:37 Jesus said, “Why don’t you feed them?” “With what?” they said. “It would take over six months’ wages to buy enough food for this crowd.”
John 6:7 Philip said, “Six months’ wages would not be enough to give everyone a few bites.”
King James

Mark 6:37 He answered and said unto them, Give ye them to eat. And they say unto him, Shall we go and buy two hundred pennyworth of bread, and give them to eat?
John 6:7 Philip answered him, Two hundred pennyworth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one of them may take a little.

“How many loaves do you have? Go and see.”

Eyewitness

Mark 6:38 “How many loaves do you have? Go and see.” After checking, they said, “All we have are five loaves and two fish.”
King James

Mark 6:38 He saith unto them, How many loaves have ye? go and see. And when they knew, they say, Five, and two fishes.

Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said, “There is one boy who brought five barley loaves and two fish, but what good are they for this crowd?”

Eyewitness

Matthew 14:17 “With what?” they said. “All we have are five loaves and two fish.”
Mark 6:38 “How many loaves do you have? Go and see.” After checking, they said, “All we have are five loaves and two fish.”
Luke 9:13 Jesus said, “Why don’t you feed them?” “With what?” they said. “All we have are five loaves and two fish. Or do you expect us to buy enough food for this gigantic crowd?”
John 6:8–9 Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said, “There is one boy who brought five barley loaves and two fish, but what good are they for this crowd?”
King James

Matthew 14:17 And they say unto him, We have here but five loaves, and two fishes.
Mark 6:38 He saith unto them, How many loaves have ye? go and see. And when they knew, they say, Five, and two fishes.
Luke 9:13 But he said unto them, Give ye them to eat. And they said, We have no more but five loaves and two fishes; except we should go and buy meat for all this people.
John 6:8–9 One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, saith unto him, There is a lad here, which hath five barley loaves, and two small fishes: but what are they among so many?

“Bring the bread and fish to me.” There was a lot of green grass where they were. “Have the people sit down in groups of about fifty.” So they sat in groups, between fifty and a hundred.

Eyewitness

Matthew 14:18–19 “Bring the bread and fish to me.” After telling the crowd to sit on the grass, he took the five loaves and two fish, looked toward the sky, and gave thanks. He broke the loaves and fish and handed them to his disciples, who distributed the pieces to the people.
Mark 6:39–40 “Have the people sit down in groups on the green grass.” So they sat in groups of fifty to a hundred.
Luke 9:14–15 Besides the women and children, about five thousand men were there. Jesus said, “Have the people sit down in groups of about fifty.” So everyone sat down.
John 6:10 “Have the people sit down.” There was a lot of grass where they were, so the men sat down, about five thousand, plus women and children.
King James

Matthew 14:18–19 He said, Bring them hither to me. And he commanded the multitude to sit down on the grass, and took the five loaves, and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, he blessed, and brake, and gave the loaves to his disciples, and the disciples to the multitude.
Mark 6:39–40 And he commanded them to make all sit down by companies upon the green grass. And they sat down in ranks, by hundreds, and by fifties.
Luke 9:14–15 For they were about five thousand men. And he said to his disciples, Make them sit down by fifties in a company. And they did so, and made them all sit down.
John 6:10 And Jesus said, Make the men sit down. Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, in number about five thousand.

Jesus took the five loaves and two fish, looked toward the sky, and gave thanks. He broke the loaves and fish and handed them to his disciples, who distributed the pieces to the people.

Eyewitness

Matthew 14:19 After telling the crowd to sit on the grass, he took the five loaves and two fish, looked toward the sky, and gave thanks. He broke the loaves and fish and handed them to his disciples, who distributed the pieces to the people.
Mark 6:41 Jesus took the five loaves and two fish, looked toward the sky, and gave thanks. He broke the loaves and fish and handed them to his disciples, who distributed the pieces to the people.
Luke 9:16 Jesus took the five loaves and two fish, looked toward the sky, and gave thanks. He broke the loaves and fish and handed them to his disciples, who distributed the pieces to the people.
John 6:11 Jesus took the five loaves and gave thanks. He broke the loaves and fish and handed them to his disciples, who distributed the pieces to the people.
King James

Matthew 14:19 And he commanded the multitude to sit down on the grass, and took the five loaves, and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, he blessed, and brake, and gave the loaves to his disciples, and the disciples to the multitude.
Mark 6:41 And when he had taken the five loaves and the two fishes, he looked up to heaven, and blessed, and brake the loaves, and gave them to his disciples to set before them; and the two fishes divided he among them all.
Luke 9:16 Then he took the five loaves and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, he blessed them, and brake, and gave to the disciples to set before the multitude.
John 6:11 And Jesus took the loaves; and when he had given thanks, he distributed to the disciples, and the disciples to them that were set down; and likewise of the fishes as much as they would.

When they all had eaten as much as they wanted, he said to his disciples, “Gather everything left over so no food is wasted.” The disciples gathered twelve baskets full of leftover bread and fish.

Eyewitness

Matthew 14:20 They all ate as much as they wanted, and the disciples gathered twelve baskets full of leftover bread and fish.
Mark 6:42–43 They all ate as much as they wanted and the disciples gathered twelve baskets full of leftover bread and fish.
Luke 9:17 They all ate as much as they wanted, and the disciples gathered twelve baskets full of leftover bread and fish.
John 6:11–13 Jesus took the five loaves and gave thanks. He broke the loaves and fish and handed them to his disciples, who distributed the pieces to the people. When they all had eaten as much as they wanted, he said to his disciples, “Gather everything left over so no food is wasted.” The disciples gathered twelve baskets full of leftover bread and fish.
King James

Matthew 14:20 And they did all eat, and were filled: and they took up of the fragments that remained twelve baskets full.
Mark 6:42–43 And they did all eat, and were filled. And they took up twelve baskets full of the fragments, and of the fishes.
Luke 9:17 And they did eat, and were all filled: and there was taken up of fragments that remained to them twelve baskets.
John 6:11–13 And Jesus took the loaves; and when he had given thanks, he distributed to the disciples, and the disciples to them that were set down; and likewise of the fishes as much as they would. When they were filled, he said unto his disciples, Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost. Therefore they gathered them together, and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves, which remained over and above unto them that had eaten.