Understanding Loaves

Andrew Coombridge | Feb 28, 2021

Scripture: Mark 6:30-56

Feeding of the Five Thousand

30 The(A) apostles(B) gathered around Jesus and reported to him all that they had done and taught. 31 He said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a remote place and rest for a while.” For many people were coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat.

32 So they went away in the boat by themselves to a remote place, 33 but many saw them leaving and recognized them, and they ran on foot from all the towns and arrived ahead of them.[a]

34 When he went ashore, he saw a large crowd and had compassion(C) on them, because they were like sheep(D) without a shepherd. Then he began to teach them many things.

35 When it grew late, his disciples(E) approached him and said, “This place is deserted,(F) and it is already late. 36 Send them away so that they can go into the surrounding countryside and villages to buy themselves something to eat.”

37 “You give them something to eat,” he responded.

They said to him, “Should we go and buy two hundred denarii[b] worth of bread and give them something to eat?”

38 He asked them, “How many loaves do you have? Go and see.”

When they found out they said, “Five, and two fish.” 39 Then he instructed them to have all the people sit down in groups on the green grass. 40 So they sat down in groups of hundreds and fifties. 41 He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, he blessed and broke the loaves. He kept giving them to his disciples to set before the people. He also divided the two fish among them all. 42 Everyone ate and was satisfied.(G) 43 They picked up twelve baskets full of pieces of bread and fish. 44 Now those who had eaten the loaves were five thousand men.

Walking on the Water

45 Immediately(H) he made his disciples get into the boat and go ahead of him to the other side, to Bethsaida,(I) while he dismissed the crowd. 46 After he said good-bye to them, he went away to the mountain(J) to pray.(K) 47 Well into the night, the boat was in the middle of the sea, and he was alone on the land. 48 He saw them straining(L) at the oars,[c] because the wind was against them. Very early in the morning[d] he came toward them walking on the sea and wanted to pass by them. 49 When they saw him walking on the sea, they thought it was a ghost(M) and cried out, 50 because they all saw him and were terrified.(N) Immediately he spoke with them and said, “Have courage!(O) It is I.(P) Don’t be afraid.”(Q) 51 Then he got into the boat with them, and the wind ceased. They were completely astounded, 52 because they had not understood about the loaves. Instead, their hearts were hardened.(R)

Miraculous Healings

53 When they had crossed over, they came to shore at Gennesaret(S) and anchored there.

54 As they got out of the boat, people immediately recognized him. 55 They hurried throughout that region and began to carry the sick(T) on mats to wherever they heard he was. 56 Wherever he went, into villages, towns, or the country, they laid the sick in the marketplaces and begged him that they might touch just the end(U) of his robe.(V) And everyone who touched it was healed.

Read full chapter


  1. 6:33 Other mss add and gathered around him
  2. 6:37 A denarius = one day’s wage
  3. 6:48 Or them being battered as they rowed
  4. 6:48 Lit Around the fourth watch of the night = 3 to 6 a.m.

Related Resources