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The Feeding Of The Five Thousand
by Wayne Blank
"When Jesus therefore perceived that they would come and take Him by force, to make Him a king, He departed again into a mountain Himself alone"
The event occurred just before Passover, however not the Passover in which He would be sacrificed (see Christ's Passover). Later that year, in early autumn, He observed the Feast of Tabernacles, just as He had done all of His life (John 7:14; see also The Christian Feast of Tabernacles).
"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. And Jesus went up into a mountain, and there He sat with His disciples. And the Passover, a feast of the Jews, was nigh." (John 6:1-4 KJV)
It was yet relatively early in His ministry, but despite His efforts to not become well known at that time, "a great company come unto Him":
"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."
The miraculous multiplication of five barley loaves and two small fish provided more than enough to feed everyone; there were twelve baskets of bread left over.
"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?"
It was at that point that the crowd decided to declare Jesus their King, but it was not yet time. Even the apostles did not yet realize that the Messiah's kingship would be in the future (see the Fact Finder question below).
"Then those men, when they had seen the miracle that Jesus did, said, This is of a truth that prophet that should come into the world."
Fact Finder: Did even the apostles believe that Jesus would become just another human king of Judah?