Feeding the Five Thousand

Jesus’ miraculous feeding of a vast crowd is such a well-known story. This is the only miracle narrated in all four gospels—indeed, it is the only incident from Jesus’ ministry before his last week which they all include. The Synoptic gospels each describe the feeding of five thousand people (Mk. 6:31–44; Matt. 14:13–21; Lk. 9:10–17), and a feeding of four thousand occurs in Mark 8:1–9 and Matthew 15:29–38. Here, we shall concentrate on the details unique to John, especially its link with the ‘bread of life’ discourse with its Eucharistic overtones…

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