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The Feeding Of The Five Thousand

The "feeding of the five thousand" is one of the most-known miraculous events of the ministry of Jesus Christ, although it seems that there were many more people present than that; five thousand was merely the number of adult men i.e. "so the men sat down, in number about five thousand" (see below). Whatever the total number, it's ironic that so many people were there, considering that the Christ often told people, and even spirits, to not tell others about Him e.g. "He straitly charged them that they should not make Him known" (Mark 3:12 KJV). There were two reasons for that. First, it simply was not yet time for most to "hear" (e.g. see The Christians of Tyre). Second, the as-yet non-Christian people of Judah were (and still are) awaiting an ordinary man as their Messiah, just another human king to deliver them, even if they have to "draft" their choice, as they tried to do a number of times with Jesus of Nazareth, including after that miraculous feeding of the five thousand (see below).

"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).

Loaves and Fish

"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."

"Philip answered Him, Two hundred pennyworth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one of them may take a little." (John 6:5-7 KJV)

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?"

"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. 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." (John 6:8-13 KJV)

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."

"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." (John 6:14-15 KJV)

Fact Finder: Did even the apostles believe that Jesus would become just another human king of Judah?
See "God Forbid, Lord!"


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