2c. Multiplication of loaves and fishes

It was toward sunset at a desolate place along the sea of Tiberias and Jesus felt pity for the multitude of people who had followed him for three days and had nothing to eat. Where would he find food for all these people? The apostles had only five loaves and two fish on hand.

Jesus pronounced a blessing over them and told his apostles to distribute them. Most likely Jesus used the traditional Jewish blessing at meals: Blessed be thou, Lord our God, king of the world, who makest bread come from the earth...." And wonder of wonder, there was enough bread and fish for over five thousand people with some left over.

This event was not beyond the power of nature. With enough time and money the apostles could have fed the crowd. The miracle lies in the speed with which bread and fish became available and the invisible source of this cumulative effect.

Here we recall that once Satan tempted Christ to change stones into bread so as to entice the people to follow him. Jesus answered: "Not on bread alone is man to live but on every utterance that comes from the mouth of God."(Mt 4:4)

But the people saw in this miracle what Jesus was trying to avoid, "Jesus realized that they would come and carry him off to make him king, so he fled back to the mountain alone." (Jn 6:14) When the people found Jesus again He said to them, "I assure you, you are not looking for me because you have seen signs but because you have eaten your fill of the loaves." (Jn 6:26)

This miracle opened the way for Christ to proclaim:
"I myself am the living bread come down from heaven.
If anyone eats of this bread he shall live forever;
the bread that I will give is my flesh,
for the life of the world." (Jn 5:51)

 

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