VERSES: John 6:1-15
MEMORY VERSE: John 6:9 "There is a lad here, which hath five barley loaves, and two small fishes..."
BOOK TO REMEMBER: Review all 27 books of the New Testament. It is good for the entire class to recite aloud.
PRAYER: Thank God for the food He gives us each and every day. Let us always be thankful for His blessings.
SPECIAL SONG: Jesus Taught By Parable And Miracle (see March - Songs We Sing In Bible Class #4 on this blog. Click on orange circle to hear tune.)
VISUAL AID: A Large Activity (see below)
- All day long great crowds of people had followed Jesus around and listened to Him teach parables and watched Him heal people who had diseases. Towards the end of the day, Jesus retreated to a mountain and sat with His disciples. When Jesus lifted up His eyes, He saw a great crowd of people coming to Him. Jesus said to His disciple, Philip. "From where shall we buy bread, so that all of these people may eat?" Jesus was only testing Philip because Jesus already knew what He was going to do. Philip said, "Even if we had 200 small loaves of bread and everyone took a small amount, it would still not be enough."
- One of Jesus' disciples, Andrew, Peter's brother, said to Jesus, "There is a young boy here who has five barley loaves and two small fish, but what good are they when there are so many people?" Jesus told His disciples to make the men sit down. There was a lot of grass where they were, so the men sat down. There were about 5,000 men and that did not include any women or children.
- Jesus took the loaves and, after He have given thanks, He gave them out to the disciples. The disciples distributed the bread to all of the men who were sitting down, then gave out the fish and the people ate as much as they wanted. When they were filled, Jesus told the disciples to gather up all the leftovers, so nothing would be lost. In the end, the disciples gathered up twelve baskets of leftovers, not counting what the people had eaten.
- When those men who had eaten and had seen the miracle that Jesus performed using only five barley loaves and two small fish, they knew that Jesus was the prophet who had been promised. Jesus understood that the men would come and take Him by force and make Him a king, so he left and went up into a mountain by himself.
- Was this a miracle? Yes! A miracle is a sign or a wonder that goes against God's natural laws. A miracle can only be done with God's help, or in this case, the Son of God. Is it a 'normal' thing for someone to take such a small amount of food and feed thousands of people? No! Jesus did something that no one else could do because He was the Son of God! By performing miracles like this one, and healing people of their ailments, Jesus was proving that He was the Son of God.
- Concerning miracles: Many times people on television or radio or perhaps even someone in the community has said that they have healed people of cancer or tumors or things like that, but they are not instantly recognized as a 'miracle' because no one can see if they had a disease that is visible to the eye . Everyone could see Jesus' miracles. In this case, everyone knew that there were thousands of people sitting on the grass and there were only five loaves of bread and two small fish--they were not even large fish! When Jesus healed someone, everyone knew for a fact that that person had been blind or lame or dumb before Jesus had healed him or her. After Jesus healed them, there was no doubt that a miracle had been performed. People can deceive, but Jesus always speaks the Truth.
- Today, miracles have ceased or stopped. Why? Because we have the Bible today. There is no longer a need for God to perform miracles anymore to confirm that people are speaking God's Word. How can we KNOW that someone is speaking God's words? We can look in the Bible and check it out. (1 Corinthians 13:8-13; James 1:25; Ephesians 4:7-15; 1 Corinthians 12:28:31.) The Bible is God's complete message. (John 20:30, 31; 2 Timothy 3:16, 17)
- There is another time when Jesus fed a huge crowd of people, but it was 4,000 men, not including the women and children. (In Old testament times, it was common to only count the men.) Read Matthew 15:32-39 for this complete lesson on Jesus' compassion for the people and another miracle He performed.
Materials needed: 7" x 15" light brown construction paper, 3" x 3" dark brown construction paper, 3" x 5" tan construction paper, 5" x 5" white paper napkin (or a napkin cut in half), 2" x 4" white scrap of paper, stapler, staples, tape, marker, 6" round bowl for measuring.
- Hand out light brown paper.
- On one side, place bowl on top of light brown paper and trace the top of the bowl.
- On the other side, place bowl on light brown paper and trace the bottom of the bowl.
- Cut out circles.
- With marker, make a mark in the middle on the largest circle.
- Cut from edge of largest circle to dot in the middle of the circle.
- Draw lines on one side of each circle like a woven basket.
- Hold largest circle in hand.
- Slide edges together and adjust to fit on top of smallest circle. This does not need to be exact.
- Secure cone-shape with tape on both sides. (See picture above.)
- Place insides of baskets together.
- Staple two circles together where the tape is on circle. I used three staples to secure.
- Fold "lid" of basket back, making a fold by the staples like a clam. (See picture below.)
- Set basket aside.
- Hand out dark brown paper.
- Fold dark brown paper in half.
- Cut out two fish.
- Number fish, makes "x" where eyes should be (because they are dead fish), draw lines on tails and fins, if desired.
- Hand out tan paper.
- Cut out five loaves of bread.
- Number loaves.
- Place fish and bread in napkin and fold. Do not tape or glue.
- Place fish and bread folded in napkin inside basket.
- Hand out scrap of white paper.
- Write "Jesus Feeds 5,000" and "John 6:1-15" on white paper.
- Close basket lid and tape title on outside of basket lid. (See picture at very top of post.)
- Explain again that the five loaves were made of barley and the fish were small fish. Ask them how many people Jesus fed with what was in their basket.
- Instruct the students to hold their baskets very carefully as they leave the classroom because the loaves and bread may fall out. If they do fall out, they should put them back in their baskets and continue on.