Just before Passover of the year 32 C.E., the apostles returned from a preaching tour. They were tired, so Jesus took them by boat to Bethsaida, where they could rest. But when the boat came near the shore, Jesus saw that thousands of people had followed them there. Even though Jesus wanted to be alone with his apostles, he welcomed the people kindly. He cured their sick ones and began to teach them. All day long, Jesus taught them about God’s Kingdom. When evening fell, his apostles came to him and said: ‘The people must be hungry. Send them away so that they can get something to eat.’
Jesus said: ‘They do not have to leave. Give them something to eat here.’ The apostles asked: ‘Do you want us to go and buy bread for them?’ Philip, one of the apostles, said: ‘Even if we had a lot of money, we could not buy enough bread for this crowd.’
Jesus asked: ‘How much food do we have?’ Andrew said: ‘We have five loaves of bread and two small fish. That is not nearly enough.’ Jesus said: ‘Bring me the bread and the fish.’ He told the people to sit on the grass in groups of 50 and of 100. Jesus took the loaves and fish, looked up to heaven, and prayed. Then he gave the food to the apostles, and they handed it out to the people. The 5,000 men and the women and children all ate until they were full. Afterward, the apostles collected what was left over, so that nothing was wasted. There were 12 baskets full! That was an amazing miracle, wasn’t it?
The people were so impressed that they wanted to make Jesus their king. But Jesus knew that it was not Jehovah’s time for him to be king. So he sent the crowds away and told his apostles to go to the other side of the Sea of Galilee. They got into their boat, and Jesus went up into a mountain by himself. Why? Because he wanted time to pray to his Father. No matter how busy he was, Jesus always made time for prayer.
“Work, not for the food that perishes, but for the food that remains for everlasting life, which the Son of man will give you.”—John 6:27