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Feeding The Five Thousand

Lesson Plan & Story 

Before the story

Imagine you have a packed lunch for school, as normal. You come in one day and you're the only person with a lunch. What thoughts would go through your mind? What would you do?

You're in the playground and you have some sweets but only enough to go around your friends (ie. there will be no left for you!). Do you hand the sweets out? Do you keep them for yourself? Do you share them with your favourite friend?


The Feeding of the Five Thousand

As told from the point of view of John


Jesus soon got a reputation of being a great teacher. People were desperate to listen to what Jesus had to say. You've probably heard already of what a paralysed man and his friends had done to get to see Jesus.

This particular day we'd tried to escape the huge crowds of people by taking a boat across a lake to a quiet spot. However, when we got there we were dismayed to find that there was already vast group of people waiting to see Jesus there as well! We wanted Jesus to send the crowd away but he insisted on talking to them. Now Jesus had been teaching all day. We were all totally exhausted, the crowd were too, and it was getting late.

As it approached evening we begged Jesus, once more, to send the crowd away. There were no shops around and they would have had to hurry if they were going to get to the town in time to buy food.

"Why don't you give them a meal?" Jesus asked.

Philip, one of my fellow disciples, was shocked at this idea. "However could we do that?" he said. "There's at least five thousand men here and I haven't even started to count the women and the children yet! It would take eight months wages just to feed them all."

Andrew, another one of our friends, came up to us then. A small boy had approached him and had offered his lunch to Jesus.

We looked at what the boy had offered Jesus. It was just two little fish and five small bread rolls. Hardly enough for over five thousand people! Jesus, however, turned to the boy, who was waiting shyly.

"Thank you," he said with a smile as he took the packed lunch from him.

Jesus got us to arrange all the people into groups and when they were ready he held up the picnic food for everyone to see and thanked God for it.

I'm not really sure what happened next. All I know is that the bread and fish that Jesus handed to the other disciples and I to give to the crowd was more than enough for everyone.

Everyone was full and we even had baskets full of food left over!

I couldn't believe it!

I wonder what that little boy thought about it all.


After the story

Who was the most important person in that story? Who was the helper? Jesus? No. The little boy who gave up his lunch. Without the boy giving up his lunch Jesus couldn't have fed the five thousand. It doesn't matter how much you give. Just give what you can. The act of giving/sharing is more important/


Follow up/main activity

Write the story as told through the eyes of the little boy. Refer back to the discussion at the start of the lesson when thinking about how the little boy might feel and what he might think when he realises that he's the only person with a lunch.


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