TEXT: John 6:1-13
The students will be able to describe how Christ fed the 5,000 and will recognize that He promises to supply all our needs.
BIBLE LESSON OUTLINE
Introduction: Bring a small basket with five little loaves and two fishes. (You may wish to cut the fish shape from cardboard.) Also bring a picture of a crowd of people. Ask your students: Can this much food feed this many people?
Progression of Events:
- A great multitude followed Jesus when He went into the mountains with His disciples.
- He asked Phillip how the people should be fed, though He already knew what He would do.
- Andrew came with word that a lad present had five loaves and two fishes.
- Jesus blessed the food and gave it to the disciples to distribute to the people.
Climax: There was enough food for all, with 12 baskets remaining.
Conclusion: Jesus' miraculous power provided for the needs of the people and will do the same today for those who trust Him.
Response: Your students will be able to retell the event of the miracle, and will be able to enumerate ways God provides for our needs.
Jesus had been intensely involved in healing, teaching, instructing His disciples and defending His ministry when this incident took place. As Mark 6:31 states, "There were many coming and going, and they had no they had no leisure so much as to eat." Jesus' plan was to take the disciples the four miles by boat to the far side of the Sea of Galilee for some much needed rest and private instruction. The people, however, saw them leaving and hurried on foot the ten miles around the lake and met Him on the other side.
His reaction was not one of frustration or anger, but compassion as He saw the crowd as "sheep not having a shepherd'' (Mark 6:34).
Jesus used this occasion to teach the people and especially His disciples who He was. The people were hungry for bread but He came to satisfy the deeper longings of their spirits. "And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger: and he that believeth on me shall never thirst (John 6:35).
This miracle must have made a deep impression on His disciples because it is the only miracle recorded in all four Gospel accounts.
- Have someone give a testimony of how God provided for him/her.
- Make paper loaves and fishes (see Patterns) and write questions about the lesson on each.
- Bring a sack lunch or basket Iunch to class. Bring fruit that can be cut or broken into sections. Pray over the lunch and tell the class about how Jesus prayed over the boy’s lunch, and then start dividing your lunch with the class. Show the apple and crackers and say, "It really isn't enough for our whole class, but we prayed over it and Jesus will bless it and there will be enough for all."
- Cut several fish from heavy paper. Print one word of the memory verse on the back of each fish until each word is used. Put all the fish in a basket, have the children “go fishing" and then put the verse together.
- Make a wheel and divide it into five pie-shaped sections. Have a picture in each section—5 loaves, 2 fishes, 12 baskets, 1 boy, Jesus. Put a spinner in the center. Ask each child to spin the spinner. When the spinner stops tell what the picture had to do with the lesson. As an alternative, the five pictures could be placed on a stationary wheel and a second wheel with an opening cut in it placed on top. Fasten with a thumbtack so the children could spin it.
- Bring bread or fish crackers and sardines for children to taste so that they can imagine what food in Bible times was like.
- Divide a small biscuit among the class members. Ask if they got full on that. Explain that Jesus divided the lunch and it fed all with food left over.
- Use miniature loaves of bread in a big basket with plastic fish that come apart. Or you could use Swedish gumdrop fish.
- What did the little boy have to give to Jesus?
- How many people were there?
- How many baskets were left over after everyone was through eating?
- Can you tell how Jesus has provided for you?
- Who has promised to supply all our needs?
- What question did Jesus ask Phillip and why?
- What might Jesus have been trying to teach the disciples by this incident?
- What are some ways in which people today are tested regarding their faith and trust in Jesus?
- Cut several fish out of heavy paper. Write one word or part of the memory verse on the back of each fish. Put all the fish in a basket and have the children “go fishing." Then put the verse together.
- Bring pictures of a big dinner and a picture of five loaves and two small fishes. Ask the children, “Which of these did Jesus use to feed the 5,000 people?”
- Bring two fish and five small rolls to class to help the children understand how small the lunch was that the boy shared.
- Use Pepperidge Farm fish crackers as a lesson illustration which will double as a snack for your class.
Have students sit in groups (maybe on the floor). Pass around the fish crackers as an example of the loaves and fishes. This can be done while a flannelgraph story is being presented.
Show a miniature fishing pole, net, boat, toy oven, loaf of wrapped bread. "Did Jesus catch the fish?" No, Jesus prayed to God and God answered prayer.
Have a contest. Write questions on construction-paper fish and put into a net. Have students draw out a fish and answer the question.
- A Boy's Amazing Lunch — A Story Tape #142, Series 10, Your Story Hour, Inc.
- Feeding the 5000 — Visual Graph, Scripture Press
- Jesus Feeds 5000 — Magic Picture Story, David C. Cook
- Jesus Gives the People Food — Lion Story Book, Lion Publishing
- Jesus Feeds Five Thousand — Tell-a-Bible-Story Book, Standard Publishing
- Five Loaves and Two Fish — Palm Tree Bible Series Book, Concordia