Relevant ReadingsThe primary readings for this chapter are Matthew 14:13-21; 15:32-39, Mark 6:31-44; 8:1-10, Luke 9:10-17, and John 6:1-13.
Additional passages are: Exodus 14:21-30, Exodus 16:15-17, 1 Kings 17:8-24, 1 Kings 19:4-8, 2 Kings 4:14-37, Matthew 6:33, Mark 9:23-24, Luke 1:45, Luke 5:12-13, John 2:1-11, and John 6:14,26,31-32,35,51,53-54,66.
SummaryThe additional accounts in Matthew and Mark have been placed in a second table.
|Matthew 14:13-21||Mark 6:31-44||Luke 9:10-17||John 6:1-13|
|13||Jesus goes by boat to a deserted place, and the crowds follow him on foot||31-33||Jesus tells the apostles to "come away [to] a deserted place and rest a while"; they go by boat to a deserted place, but the crowds follow them on foot||10-11a||Jesus and his disciples withdraw in private to Bethsaida; the crowds follow them||1-4||Near the time of Passover, Jesus crosses the Sea of Galilee; he goes up a mountain and rests with his disciples; a large crowd follows him|
|14||Jesus sees the large crowd and has pity for them, and cures their sick||34||Jesus sees the large crowd and has pity for them, for they were like sheep without a shepherd, and he begins to teach them||11b||Jesus speaks to the crowd about the kingdom of God and cures the sick among them||5a||Jesus sees the crowd approaching|
|15||When evening arrives, the disicples suggest to Jesus that he should dismiss the crowds so they can buy themselves food||35-36||As it gets later, the disciples suggest to Jesus that he should dismiss the crowds so they can buy themselves food||12||As the day draws to a close, the apostles suggest to Jesus that he should dismiss the crowds to they can find lodging and provisions||5b-6||Jesus asks Peter, "Where can we buy enough for them to eat?"; he does this to test Philip|
|16-18||Jesus replies "give them some food yourselves"; the disciples answer that they only have five loaves and two fish; Jesus asks for them||37-38||Jesus replies "give them some food yourselves"; the disciples ask if they should buy 200 days' wages of food; Jesus asks what they have, and they answer five loaves and two fish||13||Jesus replies "give them some food yourselves"; the disciples say all the have is five loaves and two fish, unless they were to buy more food||7-9||Philip says that 200 days' wages would not purchase enough food; Andrew reports that a boy has five barley loaves and two fish, but Andrew doubts they will help|
|19||Jesus has the crowd sit down; he takes the food, says a blessing, breaks the bread, and gives the food to the disciples to distribute||39-41||Jesus has the crowd sit down; people sit in rows of 50 and 100; Jesus takes the fish, says a blessing, breaks the bread, and gives the food to the disciples to distribute||14-16||Jesus tells his disciples to group the crowd (with 5000 men) to sit in groups of 50; Jesus takes the food, says a blessing, breaks the bread, and gives the food to the disciples to distribute||10-11||Jesus tells crowd (with 5000 men) to recline; then Jesus takes the bread, gives thanks, and distributes the bread and fish to the crowd, giving as much [as] they wanted|
|20||After all have eaten enough, the remaining fragments fill twelve wicker baskets||42-43||After all have eaten enough, the remaining fragments fill twelve wicker baskets||17||After all have eaten enough, the remaining fragments fill twelve wicker baskets||12-13||After all have eaten enough, Jesus has his disciples collect the remaining fragments, which filled twelve wicker baskets|
|21||At least 5000 men shared the food (not counting women and children)||44||At least 5000 men ate shared the bread|
|Matthew 15:32-39||Mark 8:1-10|
|32||The crowd has been with Jesus for three days, so he does not want to send them away hungry||1-3||The crowd has been with Jesus for three days, so he does not want to send them away hungry|
|33||The disciples ask Jesus where they can find enough bread in this deserted place to satisfy them||4||The disciples ask Jesus where they anyone could find enough bread to satisfy them [in] this deserted place|
|34||The disciples say they have seven loaves of bread and a few fish||5||The disciples say they have seven loaves of bread|
|35-36||Jesus has the crowd sit down; then he gives thanks and breaks the loaves and gives the bread and fish to the disciples to distribute to the crowd||6-7||Jesus has the crowd sit down; then he gives thanks and breaks the loaves and gives them to his disciples to distribute to the crowd; he also blesses and distributes a few fish they had as well|
|37-38||All eat and are satisfied; the left-over fragments fill seven baskets; there were 4000 men, plus women and children||8-9||All eat and are satisfied; the left-over fragments fill seven baskets; there were 4000 men|
|39||Jesus gets into a boat and sails to Magadan||10||Jesus gets into a boat and sails to Dalmanutha|
- What is a miracle and what is its purpose?
CCC 156 describes miracles as the most certain signs of divine Revelation, adapted to the intelligence of all, meaning that we believe in them because of the authority of God himself who reveals them. Miracles are credible means by which to show that faith is not a blind impulse of the mind.
- What was Jesus's first miracle (found in John 2:1-11) and what was the reaction?
Jesus's mother told him that the wedding had run out of wine, and he instructs the servers to fill six jars with water, and then to draw some to give to the headwaiter. This was the first of Jesus's signs through which his disciples came to believe in him.
- What do the miracles of Cana and the multiplication of fishes and loaves signify?
CCC 1335 explains that these two miracles prefigure the Eucharist: the superabundance of this unique bread of his Eucharist and the new wine that has become the Blood of Christ.
- Identify these Old Testament miracles: A. Exodus 14:21-30, B. Exodus 16:15-17, C. 1 Kings 17:8-16, D. 1 Kings 17:17-24, E. 1 Kings 19:4-8, F. 2 Kings 4:14-37.
- The parting of the Red Sea
- Manna from heaven
- The widow's flour and oil do not decrease
- God resurrects the widow's son at Elijah's prayer
- Elijah receives a hearth cake and water in the desert to strengthen him for a journey to Mount Horeb
- The young son of an old woman (who was conceived as Elisha had promised her) dies and is resurrected
- What did Jesus's life and the miracles he worked signify?
CCC 515 says that his deeds, miracles and words all revealed that "in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily".
- What would you say to a person who did not believe in miracles?
- Identify the prerequisites for a miracle in these passages: Matthew 6:33, Mark 9:23-24, Luke 1:45, Luke 5:12-13.
From Matthew, seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness. From Mark, everything is possible to one who has faith. From Luke, belief in the Lord's promises; also, submission to the will of God.
- Describe the sequence of events in Mark 6:31-44.
See the Summary.
- Can you give an accurate count of the people fed in Matthew 14:21?
The number of men was around 5000; since that doesn't include women and children, the total was probably several thousand more.
- About how many people did Jesus feed the second time (Matthew 15:38)?
About 4000 men, plus women and children. Assuming some men came alone, some had their wives with them, and some had a child with them as well, the total was probably around 8000.
- What additional information can be found in Luke 9:10-17?
Luke names the location, Bethsaida. He also describes Jesus as having the disciples split the crowd up into groups of about fifty.
- Although the synoptic accounts differ, do they contradict one another?
- Which apostles are named in John 6:1-13?
- Compare these responses to Jesus: Matthew 14:20, Matthew 15:37, Mark 6:42, Mark 8:8, Luke 9:17, John 6:11-14.
The synoptic accounts all say that all ate and were satisfied. John says that all had their fill, and then they said that Jesus is "truly the Prophet, the one who is to come into the world".
- Why did some people follow Jesus, as reported in John 6:26?
Some people looked for Jesus after the miracle simply because he had been able to feed them, not because they recognized him by signs and wonders.
- What does Jesus say about manna in John 6:31-32?
Jesus tells the crowd that it was not Moses who gave them bread from heaven, but rather God the Father who gives them true bread from heaven.
- What are some of the things Jesus says after the miracle (John 6:35,51,53-54)?
"I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst."
"I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever, and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world."
"Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day."
- How do some of Jesus's disciples react in John 6:66?
Jesus's message caused many disciples to disband from him and return to their old life. This was due to his message about his body and blood, and that no one can come to him unless it is through the Father.
- What would your reaction have been if you were present at this miracle?
I would probably have been very confused and wondered where the food came from, and how there was so much of it, instead of concentrating on the fact that it was multiplied. I think trying to figure out how the miracle occurred detracts from the experience itself; that it happened is enough.
- Has there been a time when God miraculously met a need of yours?