Stories from the Life of Christ Told to the Children - Janet Kelman

The Feeding of the Multitude

And they departed into a desert place by boat, and the people saw them departing, and many knew him, and ran afoot thither out of all cities, and outwent them, and came together unto him. And Jesus, when he came out, saw much people, and was moved with compassion toward them, because they were as sheep not having a shepherd; and he spake unto them of the kingdom of God, and healed them that had need of healing. And when the day began to wear away, his disciples came unto him, and said, "This is a desert place, and now the time is far passed; send them away that they may go into the country round about, and into the villages, and buy themselves bread: for they have nothing to eat." He answered and said unto them, "They need not depart. Give ye them to eat."

And he saith unto Philip, "Whence shall we buy bread that these may eat?"

And this he said to prove him; for he himself knew what he would do. Philip answered him, "Two hundred pennyworth of bread is not sufficient for them that every one of them may take a little."

He saith unto them, "How many loaves have ye? Go and see."

Andrew saith unto him, "There is a lad here which hath five barley-loaves and two small fishes, but what are they among so many?"

And Jesus said, "Make the men sit down."

Now there was much grass in the place. And they sat down in ranks on the grass. And when he had taken the five loaves and the two fishes, he looked up to heaven and blessed and brake the loaves, and gave them to his disciples to set before them; and the two fishes divided he among them all. And they did all eat. And when they were filled, he saith to his disciples, "Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost."

Therefore they gathered them together, and filled twelve baskets with fragments of the five barley-loaves, which remained over and above unto them that had eaten.

And Jesus constrained his disciples to go by boat before unto the other side, while he sent the multitudes away. And when he had sent them away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray.

And when even was come, and it was now dark, the boat was in the midst of the sea tossed with waves, and he alone on the land. And he saw them toiling in rowing; for the wind was contrary unto them. And about the fourth watch of the night, Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea, and would have passed by them. But when they saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, "It is a spirit."

And they cried out for fear, for they all saw him. And straightway he talked with them, and saith unto them, "Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid."

And Peter said, "Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water."

And he said, "Come."

And when Peter was come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, "Lord, save me."

And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, "O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?"

Then they willingly received him into the boat; and the wind ceased, and immediately the boat was at the land whither they went. Then they that were in the boat came and worshipped him, saying, "Of a truth thou art the Son of God."

The day following, when the people saw that Jesus was not there, neither his disciples, they also took shipping, and came to Capernaum, seeking for Jesus. And when they had found him on the other side of the sea, they said unto him, "Master, when camest thou hither?"

Jesus answered them and said, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, ye seek me not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled. Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of Man shall give unto you. I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger, and he that believeth on me shall never thirst; and him that cometh unto me I will in no wise cast out."

From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him. Then said Jesus unto the twelve, "Will ye also go away?"

Then Peter answered him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life; and we believe and are sure that thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God."