A Little Lunch and a Lot of Faith…Jesus Feeds 5,000
The story of stretching loaves and fishes is always a hit among miracle lessons. How is it possible that such a small amount of food managed to take care of so many people? This lesson aims to remind students of how God takes care of all of our needs and can do anything, even the seemingly impossible.
Lesson focus: God can do fantastic and miraculous things in our lives if we trust Him and let Him do His will.
Passage: Matthew 14:13-21
Target Audience: Kindergarten-6th Grade (adaptable older or younger)
Materials Needed: Fun-sized candy bar, gold fish crackers, dinner rolls (5), tuna cans, crackers (1-2 per student), Swedish fish (2 per student), lunch bags and decorative material (markers, stickers, etc).
Optional: Jesus Feeds 5000 coloring page and Skit: Jesus Feeds Five Thousand
Lesson Opening: This is a great story for telling interactively with students. To open things up, the teacher will take out a candy bar or treat and eat in front of students. After they witness and whine a bit, the teacher can announce that there is more to share, but it will have to go around the whole group. Pull out a tiny fun-sized candy bar and a handful of goldfish crackers. Will this be enough for everyone to have some? How should we split it all up? Explain that today’s story will feature a seemingly impossible event that turned out to be a miracle.
Jesus Feeds 5,000 Bible Lesson
Provide the backdrop for the story: Jesus was teaching people out by a big lake, and everyone was very excited to hear what he had to say. Ask if anyone has ever been somewhere when there was a big crowd of people. Explain that there were lots of people, and it started getting late.
When Jesus heard what had happened, he withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place. Hearing of this, the crowds followed him on foot from the towns. When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick. As evening approached, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. Send the crowds away, so they can go to the villages and buy themselves some food.” (Matthew 14:13-15)
Some of the disciples asked Jesus if there was going to be any food because some of the crowds were getting hungry. There was no way to feed everyone. There were over 5,000 people! Count with students some small items, adding up to about fifty things (or smaller for younger students). Imagine how many people were out by that lake! Jesus told the disciples to see if anyone in the crowd had food to share. How were they going to find someone with enough to feed everyone??
Jesus replied, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.”
“We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish,” they answered. “Bring them here to me,” he said. And he directed the people to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. (16-19)
But the disciples did find a little boy with a lunch. Hold up a paper bag to demonstrate the lunch. Guess how much food he had? Pull out five dinner rolls and two cans of tuna.
Jesus gave thanks for the food. (Say a prayer for the food in the bag, and reach deeper in it to start pulling out snacks.) Then he had disciples start handing out food for people. At this point, begin passing out crackers and gummy fish for each student.
They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. The number of those who ate was about five thousand men, besides women and children. -Matthew 14:20-21
Amazingly, there was enough food for everyone to eat. In fact, their tummies got so full there was leftover food to go around. Help students count out twelve of something to show there were twelve baskets leftover. How did Jesus do this? Remind students that Jesus was God, and that God made this amazing miracle possible. Share with them also how people had to trust in God: the disciples had to trust and have faith that Jesus knew what He was doing; and the little boy had to trust Him and be willing to share his lunch. How can we trust God and be willing to sacrifice??
Craft: lunch time fun…help students decorate lunch bags with various material, and keep for collections or donations for another time.
Close with prayer and reminder of God’s work in our lives. Thank God for His amazing providence in our lives and for always taking care of our needs.
For more Bible story ideas, you can browse our other free lesson plans on this same Bible story.
- Children’s Bible Lesson – Jesus Feeding Five Thousand
- Jesus Feeds 5,000 Sunday School Lesson
- Jesus Feeds 5000 preschool Bible Lesson
- Lesson: Jesus is the Bread of Life (John 6:22-40)