SOMETHING terrible has happened. John the Baptizer has just been killed. He·roʹdi·as, the wife of the king, did not like him. And she was able to get the king to have John’s head cut off.
When Jesus hears about this, he is very sad. He goes into a lonely place by himself. But the people follow him. When Jesus sees the crowds, he feels sorry for them. So he talks to them about the kingdom of God, and he heals their sick ones.
That evening his disciples come to him and say: ‘It is already late, and this is a lonely place. Send the people away so they can buy some food for themselves in the nearby villages.’
‘They don’t have to leave,’ Jesus answers. ‘You give them something to eat.’ Turning to Philip, Jesus asks: ‘Where can we buy enough food to feed all these people?’
‘It will cost lots and lots of money to buy enough so everyone can have only a little bit,’ Philip answers. Andrew speaks up: ‘This boy, who is carrying our food, has five loaves of bread and two fishes. But it won’t be nearly enough for all these people.’
‘Tell the people to sit down on the grass,’ Jesus says. Then he thanks God for the food, and starts breaking it into pieces. Next, the disciples give the bread and fish to all the people. There are 5,000 men, and many more thousands of women and children. They all eat until they are full. And when the disciples gather up what is left over, there are 12 baskets full!
Jesus now has his disciples get into a boat to go across the Sea of Galʹi·lee. During the night a big storm comes up, and waves toss the boat this way and that way. The disciples are very much afraid. Then, in the middle of the night, they see someone walking toward them across the water. They cry out in fear, because they do not know what they are seeing.
‘Don’t be afraid,’ Jesus says. ‘It is I!’ They still can’t believe it. So Peter says: ‘If it really is you, Lord, tell me to walk across the water to you.’ Jesus answers: ‘Come!’ And Peter gets out and walks on the water! Then he becomes afraid and begins to sink, but Jesus saves him.
Later, Jesus again feeds thousands of people. This time he does so with seven loaves of bread and a few small fishes. And again there is plenty for all. Isn’t it wonderful how Jesus takes care of people? When he rules as God’s king we will never have to worry about anything!
Matthew 14:1-32; 15:29-38; John 6:1-21.