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Bible Trek

Jesus feeds the 5000 | Bible Trek – Galilee Series (Part 2) – 04

In the Church of the Multiplication of the Loaves and Fish there is a stone which is believed to be the rock on which Jesus prepared a meal for over 5,000 people. Having provided teaching and encouragement for them, he then compassionately provided for their physical as well as spiritual needs as he turned a few loaves and fish into a feast.

Quick read

Mark 6.34–44

In a nutshell

‘Then Jesus took the five loaves and the two fish ...’  Mark 6.34

During her pilgrimage to the Holy Land, a fourth-century Spanish nun mentioned seeing a church on the site where ‘the Lord fed the crowds with five loaves and two fish’.  A larger church in Byzantine style, decorated with mosaics, followed a century later: the Church of the Multiplication of the Loaves and Fish.  

Beneath the altar archaeologists unearthed a limestone block, venerated by some today as the stone on which Jesus prepared the miracle feast. One of the mosaics there shows a fish on either side of a breadbasket.  

Jesus taught and fed the crowds out of compassion. His miracles revealed the presence of God, who is not only all-powerful but who provides for our physical and spiritual needs. 

Some people are hard to read. Not with Jesus. His actions show us his heart.  

Time and again Jesus is described as having compassion for people. The Greek word for ‘compassion’ in Mark 6.34 refers literally to a person’s guts – it was ‘an ancient way of referring to what rises up from one’s innermost core’ (Dane Ortlund, Gentle and Lowly).  

Seeing Israel as lost and leaderless (verse 34), Jesus was moved to teach. His teachings still remain the antidote to confusion and despair. When the disciples told him to send the hungry people away (verse 36) he provided for them instead. There was no disconnect between Jesus meeting physical and spiritual needs.  

This extraordinary miracle leaves the people with plenty. So it is when you get to know the one who has deep compassion for you.

Read on, to find out how Jesus cared for people’s physical and spiritual needs. 

Jesus, the Bread of Life John 6.25–59
Breakfast first John 21.1–14


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