Lesson: Jesus Feeds Five Thousand

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Use this children’s Sunday School lesson to teach kids how Jesus uses what we give Him to help others.

Needed: Bibles, strips of paper, snack

Intro Game: Delivering the Fish and Loaves

Divide students into two or teams for a relay race. Place a pile of paper strips at the other end of the play area in front of each team.

The first student from each team runs down to the pile, grabs a slip of paper, and hands it to the next person in line, who then does the same thing. The team continues running until each team member has retrieved and is holding a slip of paper. The first team to finish wins.

Snack Activity: No Leftovers?!

Bring a snack in to share with the class. It could be anything – pretzels, candy, fruit cups, doughnuts, etc.

Before passing the snack out, ask students, If I give you all of this snack, will I have any leftover? (No. If you give it all to the students, you won’t have any leftover.)

Okay. Well, I’ll give you all some of the snack, anyway.

(Pass out the snack and let children eat. When they’re finished, tell them to pass in their leftovers. They won’t have any.)

You mean you ate the snack and don’t have any leftovers? Well, this is not the way it happened in the Bible. Let’s read a story about a time when Jesus gave people a snack and had lots left over.


Read John 6:1-15.

“Some time after this, Jesus crossed to the far shore of the Sea of Galilee (that is, the Sea of Tiberias), and a great crowd of people followed Him because they saw the signs He had performed by healing the sick. Then Jesus went up on a mountainside and sat down with His disciples. The Jewish Passover Festival was near.

“When Jesus looked up and saw a great crowd coming toward Him, He said to Philip, ‘Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?’ He asked this only to test him, for he already had in mind what He was going to do.

“Philip answered Him, ‘It would take more than half a year’s wages to buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!’

“Another of His disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, spoke up, ‘Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?’

“Jesus said, ‘Have the people sit down.’ There was plenty of grass in that place, and they sat down (about five thousand men were there). Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted. He did the same with the fish.

“When they had all had enough to eat, He said to His disciples, ‘Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted.’ So they gathered them and filled twelve baskets with the pieces of the five barley loaves left over by those who had eaten.

“After the people saw the sign Jesus performed, they began to say, ‘Surely this is the Prophet who is to come into the world.’ Jesus, knowing that they intended to come and make Him king by force, withdrew again to a mountain by Himself.”

How many people were there in the crowd? (5,000 men, plus women and children.)

How much food did Jesus have? (5 loaves of bread and 2 fish.)

Can 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish feed more than 5,000 people? (No.)

Then, how did Jesus feed them all? (He did a miracle to make more food out of the 5 loaves and 2 fish.)

And then, the Bible says that Jesus still had leftovers afterward.

He started with 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish, fed more than 5,000 people, and ended up with more food than He started with!

This is still what Jesus does for us. The boy gave Jesus what he had. It was just a little bit, but Jesus was able to make more out of it. If we give what we have to Jesus, even if it’s just a little bit, He can use it in great ways.

Let’s think of some things that we can give to Jesus.

What can you give Jesus? (Suggestions include money in the offering, giving our time and talents to Jesus by helping at church or helping other people, giving Jesus our hearts when we love Him and do what He says, etc.)

(Teachers should also share how they give and help in the church, including teaching.)

When we give what we have to Jesus, we have faith that He can use it to help other people, just like Jesus used the boy’s 5 loaves and 2 fish.

Game: Delivering the Fish and Loaves

Play the intro game again, but this time, tell students that they’re like the disciples handing out the food from Jesus to all the people.

Closing Prayer

Jesus, we give You everything that we have and pray that You’ll use it to help others as only You can. Amen.

You can also find this lesson for Kindle or in print in my book, The Miracles of Jesus.

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