Why Did Jesus Tell the Disciples to Feed the 5000?

When Jesus told his disciples to feed the 5000, it was not just about satisfying their physical needs but also teaching them a valuable lesson. The incident is recorded in all four Gospels – Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

The Background

Jesus had been preaching and healing people in Galilee when a large crowd followed him to a remote location. The people had been with him for three days and were hungry.

Jesus’ disciples suggested that he send them away to find food, but Jesus responded differently. He said:

“They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.”

This response must have shocked the disciples because they did not have enough food to feed such a large crowd. However, Jesus had a plan.

The Miracle

Jesus asked the disciples what food they had, and they brought him five loaves of bread and two fish. He blessed the food and instructed his disciples to distribute it among the people.

Miraculously, everyone ate as much as they wanted, and there were even leftovers – twelve baskets full of broken pieces of bread and fish.

This miracle showed that Jesus had power over nature and could provide for people’s physical needs in extraordinary ways. It also demonstrated his compassion for those who followed him.

The Lesson

But there was more to this miracle than just feeding people. The story has several lessons that are relevant today.

Firstly, it shows that we should trust in God’s provision even when things seem impossible. The disciples did not have enough food, but Jesus provided abundantly. We too can trust that God will provide for our needs if we put our faith in Him.

Secondly, it teaches us about sharing what we have with others. The disciples shared their meager resources with the crowd, and everyone was fed. We too should be willing to share what we have with others, even if it seems like a small amount.

Finally, the miracle points to Jesus as the Bread of Life. He said:

“I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.”

Just as Jesus provided physical bread for the crowd, he offers himself as spiritual bread for all who believe in him.


In conclusion, Jesus’ command to his disciples to feed the 5000 was not just about satisfying their physical hunger but also about teaching them valuable lessons. The miracle showed that God can provide abundantly and that we should be willing to share what we have with others. Ultimately, it pointed to Jesus as the Bread of Life who satisfies our spiritual hunger and offers us eternal life.