As soon as Jesus heard that his cousin and preaching colleague John the Baptist had been murdered by Herod, he took off in a boat toward a remote place in order to have some alone time. But somehow the crowds figured out where he was going and people from many towns hoofed it over to the spot. 14 So, when Jesus arrived he encountered a huge crowd. But instead of annoyance at their invasion of his privacy, as he stepped out of the boat, he felt great compassion for them and healed those who were sick.
15 That evening his apprentices came and said to him, “We’re really out in the sticks and it’s starting to get late. Perhaps you should dismiss the crowd so they have time to get to one of the villages. They need to buy some food to feed themselves before the markets close.”
16 Jesus replied, “That’s not necessary -- YOU feed them.”
17 “But,” they answered, “Master, all we have are five small loaves of bread and two fish! What good is that with such a large crowd?”
18 “Well, bring the food here,” he said.
19 Then Jesus instructed the people to take a seat on the grass. He held up the five loaves and two fish, turned his eyes up toward heaven, and blessed the food. Then, he broke the loaves into pieces, which he gave to the apprentices. They, in turn, distributed the food to the people.
20 Everyone ate as much as they wanted, and afterward, the apprentices collected twelve baskets of leftovers. 21 It’s estimated
that about 5,000 men had their fill that day. And nobody even tried counting all the women and children who were fed.