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Feeding Five Thousand

Jesus and the disciples and a large crowd of people were sitting alongside a mountain, far from the center of town.

Jesus was teaching about the Kingdom of God and people were listening, excited to be learning from Jesus.

As it got close to dinnertime, the disciples asked Jesus what they should do about food.

"There are about five thousand people here," one disciple said to Jesus, with worry in his voice. "And the only food we have is five loaves of bread and two fishes," said another.

Jesus thought for a moment. He didn't look worried.

"Have the people sit down in groups of one hundred," he said. "Then we can start passing out the food to each group."

"Mmm, okay," said the disciples, still a bit worried. They spread the message through the crowd. "Tell everyone to sit down in groups of one hundred," they said. "Then we'll see about food." Jesus looked up to the sky and said a prayer of thanks for the food.

The disciples began giving food to people. Everyone ate and had enough, and after the meal, they gathered up the leftovers, thirteen baskets full of leftover food.

Discussion: Imagine that you had been there that day. Later, walking home, a younger brother or sister asks you to explain what happened that day. "Where did the food come from? I thought they said there wasn't enough?" How would you explain?

Craft: Have children cut simple shapes of fish, bread, baskets and people and glue to a sheet of paper to re-create the scene. Encourage children to cut out lots of fish, to show the idea of abundance.

Provide goldfish crackers for snack.

February 2014