Did Jesus Christ really feed 5,000 people in the New Testament?
It is the only one of 37 miracles recorded in the New Testament which was described by all 4 gospels. It stands to reason that this must have taken place, in one way or another, for all 4 gospels to make certain the story was told.
As the story goes, John the Baptist was beheaded. Jesus became very sad. He wanted to be alone and sailed out on the water by himself. People gathered on the shore and watched. As Jesus sailed down the coast so too did the people follow on the shore. When the boat came ashore and met the people, this is where the miracle takes place that Jesus feeds the people.
It is advised that you read the entire story from all 4 gospels, so that you know how it is recorded. It appears in Matthew 14:13, Mark 6:30, Luke 9:10, and John 6:1.
Additionally, you should read the article I have posted concerning the reading of ancient texts.
First of all, 5,000 may not be the exact number of people. Today when we estimate crowds, the police use a grid and calculate a few squares and prepare a table to estimate the total crowd. Without a head count, it is highly unlikely that this figure is exact, but that is also a point to make in other parts of the Bible as well. Exaggeration does appear in some cases, although not intentionally.
Let us forget the exact number and say "a lot of people followed the boat."
Certainly Jesus was very sad because his friend had been brutally killed, and when he heard of it, it is not surprising he wanted to be alone. One thing Jesus did better than many people in the New Testament was sail a boat. It would be natural for him to go off by himself at that time.
Another thing he did better than anyone was fish.
When he noticed the crowd gathering on the shore, he thought he might sail away and they would leave. They instead followed the boat. Seeing this, Jesus must have thrown a net over the side of the boat, and as he sailed to shore caught some fish. When he landed, he was told of the crowd, but he was already prepared. He told his apostles he would feed the people and to tell them to relax.
Indeed, it is easy to see Jesus take some fish and cook them, hand them to his apostles who would share them with the people. While they were gone, he would cook some more, and they would then take out more fish. He would repeat this until there was an empty net. All the while, the apostles never noticed that, when they came back to the boat where Jesus had made the fire to cook, he had reached into the net for more fish.
There is little doubt that Jesus fed a lot of people after the beheading of John the Baptist, for all 4 gospels report it. I fully believe his quick thinking and passion for his followers allowed him to make the decision to fish as he sailed the boat to the shore.
Call it a miracle or not a miracle, but Jesus was prepared and he delivered. You can almost hear the apostles laughing as they told the story about how every time they came back to the fire, Jesus had already cooked more fish.
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Mr. J.V. Presogna is a writer, composer and artist with a background in science and mathematics. He is a Christian-Buddhist.