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Miracle of Five Loaves and Two Loaves

John 6:1-15

1 After these things Jesus went over the Sea of Galilee, which is the Sea of Tiberias. 2 Then a great multitude followed Him, because they saw His signs which He performed on those who were diseased. 3 And Jesus went up on the mountain, and there He sat with His disciples. 4 Now the Passover, a feast of the Jews, was near. 5 Then Jesus lifted up His eyes, and seeing a great multitude coming toward Him, He said to Philip, “Where shall we buy bread, that these may eat?” 6 But this He said to test him, for He Himself knew what He would do.
7 Philip answered Him, “Two hundred denarii worth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one of them may have a little.” 8 One of His disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said to Him, 9 “There is a lad here who has five barley loaves and two small fish, but what are they among so many?” 10 Then Jesus said, “Make the people sit down.” Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, in number about five thousand. 11 And Jesus took the loaves, and when He had given thanks He distributed them to the disciples, and the disciples to those sitting down; and likewise of the fish, as much as they wanted. 12 So when they were filled, He said to His disciples, “Gather up the fragments that remain, so that nothing is lost.” 13 Therefore they gathered them up, and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves which were left over by those who had eaten. 14 Then those men, when they had seen the sign that Jesus did, said, “This is truly the Prophet who is to come into the world.” 15 Therefore when Jesus perceived that they were about to come and take Him by force to make Him king, He departed again to the mountain by Himself alone.

 

What was the Lord Jesus’ test to Philip?

The Disciples have not seen Jesus multiply food yet. It is hard to accept a new supernatural action if we have not seen it done before. Likewise when our Lord spoke about the gift of His body and blood, the majority of His disciples would not accept His sayings because their hearts were not open to: “For with God nothing will be impossible.”Luke 1:37. It is the same response humans had been giving God throughout all the history of salvation.

 

Why St. John used “signs” instead of “miracle”?

A sign points to a greater matter. When visible, tangible signs are performed, they lead the witnesses to believe Christ regarding invisible, intangible matters like forgiveness of sins, Baptism and the gift of His body and blood in the Eucharist.

 

Examples:

 

The healing of the paralytic and forgiveness of sins:

Then behold, they brought to Him a paralytic lying on a bed. When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, “Son, be of good cheer; your sins are forgiven you.” 3 And at once some of the scribes said within themselves, “This Man blasphemes!” 4 But Jesus, knowing their thoughts, said, “Why do you think evil in your hearts? 5 For which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Arise and walk’? 6 But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins”—then He said to the paralytic, “Arise, take up your bed, and go to your house.” 7 And he arose and departed to his house. 8 Now when the multitudes saw it, they marveled and glorified God, who had given such power to men”. (Matt 9:2-8),

 

Also, the miracles of healing in Jerusalem (Jn. 2:23) and the discourse with Nicodemus on the Baptism in water and Spirit (Jn 3:5); In the Old Testament “Thus Israel saw the great work which the LORD had done in Egypt; so the people feared the LORD, and believed the LORD and His servant Moses Ex 13:31. This is how they were initiated into believing in God and Moses to take care of them, their needs and to bring them to the Promised Land.

 

What is the significance of “signs”?

That by seeing signs, the people would be open to God’s new revelation through His Son: the Mystery of Baptism in Jn:3, and the Eucharist in Jn:6. That is why He rebuked those who followed Him saying, “Most assuredly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw the signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled.” Jn 6:40. Rather than filling their heart with more of God’s will for them, they are interested in filling their stomach instead. While they were thinking of food for physical life, the Trinity thinks of food for eternal life.

 


What does the crowd mean by
“This is truly the Prophet who is to come into the world”? Jn 6:14?

 

When the crowd saw the miracle (sign) of the multiplication of the loaves, they perceived the fulfillment of Deuteronomy 18:15. That prophecy foretold the coming of “a prophet” who will do many marvels like Moses, and that God would demand that the people would listen to this “prophet” in whatever He would say, and that they should believe whatever the prophet says in God’s name are God’s truthful words to them. “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.”John 6:29.

 

15 “The LORD your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your midst, from your brethren. Him you shall hear, 16 according to all you desired of the LORD your God in Horeb in the day of the assembly, saying, ‘Let me not hear again the voice of the LORD my God, nor let me see this great fire anymore, lest I die.’17 “And the LORD said to me: ‘What they have spoken is good. 18 I will raise up for them a Prophet like you from among their brethren, and will put My words in His mouth, and He shall speak to them all that I command Him. 19 And it shall be that whoever will not hear My words, which He speaks in My name, I will require it of him. Deuteronomy 18:15-19

 

Who is the Prophet that is like Moses?

 

It is Christ, but the Israelites were not ready to perceive that Christ is more than a prophet. Later, Christ would confess Himself to be the Son of the Living God before the high priest and the Sanhedrin (Matt 26:63-64). Christ is the ultimate Prophet, High Priest, and King of Kings.

 

In which way was Moses a “type” of the Lord Jesus?

 

In His life: Our Lord as a newly born child was sought by the king, who wanted to kill Him, and had to flee to Egypt; He ascended a mountain to give the Commandments (sermon on the mount); His first miracle was to turn water to wine; He fed the people miraculously, etc. These are but a few similarities to point the Israelites to the fulfillment of Deut.18:15.