The Children's Bible
Jesus Feeds The Hungry
hen Herod the ruler of Galilee heard what Jesus was doing, he was greatly puzzled, for some said that John had come back from the dead, some that Elijah had appeared, and others that one of the old prophets had come to life again. Herod said, "I have beheaded John; but who is this of whom I hear these stories?" And he tried to find him.
Then Jesus said to his disciples, "Come by yourselves to some quiet place and rest a while"; for so many people were coming and going that the disciples could not find time even to eat. So they went in a boat by themselves to a quiet place; but many people saw and knew them as they went, and, running from all the towns, they arrived before them. When Jesus landed he found a large crowd waiting for him. Feeling sorry for them because they were like sheep without a shepherd, he began to teach them many things.
As it was already late in the day, his disciples came to him and said, "This place is far away from any town and it is now late. Send the people away to the neighboring farms and villages to buy food for themselves." But he answered "Give them some food." They replied, "Are we to go and buy two hundred silver pieces' worth of food for them?" He said, "Go and see how many loaves you have." When they found out, they said, "Five, and two fishes." Then he commanded them to make the people sit down in groups on the green grass.
So they sat down in companies of a hundred and of fifty. Then Jesus took the five loaves and the two fishes, and, looking up to heaven, he blessed the loaves, and broke them in pieces; and he gave to the disciples to set before the people. He also divided the two fishes among them, and all ate and had enough. Then they picked up twelve baskets full of broken pieces of the bread and fish, although the number of the people who had shared them was five thousand.
Then Jesus had his disciples enter the boat and cross before him to Bethsaida, while he himself sent away the crowd. After sending them away, he climbed a hill to pray. When evening came the boat was in the middle of the sea and he alone on the land. Seeing that they were having trouble as they rowed, for the wind was against them, he went to them at about three o'clock in the early morning, walking on the sea as if he intended to pass them. When they saw him walking on the sea, they believed that he was a ghost and cried out, for all saw him and were frightened; but he spoke to them at once, saying, "Have courage, it is I; do not be afraid." Then he went on board the boat and the wind dropped, but they were greatly astonished for they had not learned the lesson of the loaves, for they were slow to understand its meaning.
After crossing the sea they landed at Gennesaret and fastened the boat. As soon as they had gone ashore, the people knew Jesus and searched all that part of the country, and whenever they heard that he had come to a certain place, they brought to him the sick on their beds. In every city or town or village to which he went people would lay their sick in the market-place and beg him to let them touch even the edge of his robe. And all who touched him were made well.