Jesus fed 5,000 with just 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish (John 6:1-14). The food was offered to him by a little boy. Then he said thanks and the food was distributed. 12 baskets of leftovers were collected. Christ performed a miracle that provided food for 5,000 people. However, if we continue reading, we see he provides so much more.
You see, this miracle took place during Passover, when the Jewish people were celebrating God’s deliverance of his people out of Egypt. Also, this celebrated his provision for his people in the desert, specifically manna (that’s important to the story).
In John 6:25-59, Jesus is confronted about the miracle and the people reference the manna that was provided for them, and compare that to the miracle. This is when Jesus says the famed statement “I am the bread of life” (John 6:35).
In ancient days, food had to be worked for. You grew the wheat, harvested the wheat, ground the wheat into flour, made the flour into bread, and then you could finally eat. But manna. Manna they simply collected, made into a cake, and ate. It was simple. It was free. They didn’t have to work for it. God provided physical food in the desert. He provided food for the 5,000. And he provided Jesus, the bread of life. He us the spiritual food we do not have to work for. He provides free access to God the Father, making everything we do right and everything we do wrong both meaningless. This is the Gospel.
Now, do I share all that with my toddler? No. We simply kept it to the story 5 loaves and 2 fish. But I think it’s important for us as parents to fully understand the story we are sharing, because it affects how we share it. Let’s put on the Gospel, that we are free from our failures and free from religiosity. And let us pass that same grace onto our littles.
Here’s how we played through this story:
5 Loaves and 2 Fish
What you need:
- Goldfish Crackers
- Another cracker, your choice (we used peanut butter sandwhich crackers)
What to do:
- We read the story from our storybook Bible.
- When we got to the part about the little boy with the 5 loaves and 2 fish, we counted out 5 sandwhich crackers and 2 goldfish crackers.
- We continued reading the story. I pointed out that Jesus gave food to the people for free. They didn’t have to go buy it or make it. He provided for them.
- We then counted our 12 crackers to represent how many baskets were left over.
- Finally, we talked about ways Jesus provides for us. Then we said a short prayer of thanks.