Do we ask God for things in prayer because we want to be comfortable? or because we truly want Him to be glorified? Explore this question with children as you discuss this feeding of the 5,000 object lesson.

Feeding the 5,000 Object Lesson

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It is important for us to check our motivations when it comes to asking God to do things for us. Do we ask God for things in prayer because we want to be comfortable? or because we truly want Him to be glorified? Explore this question with children as you discuss this feeding the 5,000 object lesson.

Do we ask God for things in prayer because we want to be comfortable? or because we truly want Him to be glorified? Explore this question with children as you discuss this feeding the 5,000 object lesson.

Scripture Focus: John 6

Materials: Inductive Bible Study Form; a roll, or small loaf of bread {I used a bagel. It was all I had!}, two stuffed, or plastic, fish (if you really want a great WOW factor, use two sardines!)

Geography: Sea of Galilee, Capernaum

Background: Jesus left Cana and went back to Jerusalem for a feast. While there, Jesus went near the pool of Bethesda. Jesus walked by the pool and noticed a lame man. He had been lame for 38 years. Jesus asked the man, “Do you want to be healed?” The man responded that yes, he did want to be healed, but that no one would help him into the pool when it stirred. Someone would always get there ahead of him. Jesus replied, “Take up your bed and walk.” The man did just as Jesus said. After this the Leaders persecuted Jesus because He had done things on the Sabbath.

Object and Bible Lesson for Feeding the 5,000:

Jesus went back to the Sea of Galilee.  In fact, He went across the Sea of Galilee. Jesus went up on the mountain and taught the disciples. A large crowd began to form because they had heard about the healings Jesus had performed.

Jesus asked Philip, “Where can we get bread for these people?

{Ask:}

  • Do you think Jesus already knew the answer to His question? [Yes]
  • Why? [Because Jesus is God and He know everything. He is omniscient.]

Philip responded by saying even 200 denarii worth of bread would not be enough to feed them all. Andrew then told Jesus that there was a boy in the crowd who had five loaves of bread and two fish. Jesus told the disciples to seat the people.

Sea of Galilee1Five thousand men sat down. That number does not include the number of women and children who were there to see Jesus.

{Hold up the bread and fish. Ask:}

  • Do you think this bread would be enough to feed all of you until you were full? [No.]
  • What would I need to do to make sure we had enough food? [Allow for answers, break it into really tiny pieces, share the entire loaf, go to the store for more, etc.]

Jesus took the lunch, gave thanks for it, and then distributed it to His disciples who then shared it with all of those who were seated.

{Break the bread and give everyone a small piece. (Unless there is a gluten allergy!) Ask:}

  • Why can Jesus have enough bread for everyone and I can’t? [Because He is God and the Creator]
  • Did we have any bread left over? [No, or not much]

Only the Creator of the bread and fish could do such a thing! They ate as much as they wanted of the bread and fish. Afterwards, Jesus told the disciples to gather up the leftover bread. They filled up twelve baskets!!

The people were amazed and said that Jesus was the Prophet who is to come into the world! But Jesus knew they were only interested in the signs and wonders that He did. He knew they wanted to grab Him and make Him king. Therefore, Jesus withdrew from the crowd.

{Ask:}

  • How did Jesus know what the people wanted to do with Him? [Jesus knows what people are thinking. He is God. He is omniscient – all-knowing.]

Do we ask God for things in prayer because we want to be comfortable? or because we truly want Him to be glorified? Explore this question with children as you discuss this feeding the 5,000 object lesson.

That night the disciples got into a boat to go across the sea to Capernaum. The water was rough and the wind was strong. They were about 3-4 miles out from the shore when they saw Jesus walking towards them on the water. Needless to say, they were scared!! Jesus told them, “Do not be afraid. It is I.” They took Him into the boat and immediately the boat was at the land where they wanted to go. {That’s pretty cool!}

{Ask:}

  • What would happen if we tried to walk on water? [We would sink. Gravity pulls us down.]
  • How come Jesus could walk on the water? [Jesus was with God when all things were created. Jesus, being God, created the water, therefore, He controls the laws of science. Jesus is all powerful, or omnipotent.]

Sea of Gaililee3The next day, the people went back to find Jesus, but He wasn’t where He had been the day before. They got in boats and went across the sea to Capernaum to find Jesus. After they found Him, they asked when He had gone to Capernaum.

But Jesus knew their motivation. He told them, “You aren’t seeking signs and wonders any more. I fed you yesterday, so now you want food. Don’t ask for food that perishes, but food that endures. I am the bread. Whoever comes to Me shall never hunger and will never thirst.”

Capernaum1Life Application of Feeding the 5,000:

What strange words!

{Ask:}

  • Do you remember what Jesus said to the woman at the well? [I will give you Living Water.]
  • What happens if you do not drink water? [You die.]
  • What happens if you do not eat food? [You die.]
  • So food and water are pretty important. If Jesus IS the bread and GIVES the water…does that mean Jesus is important? [Yes.]

I wonder if Jesus was sad for the people. They didn’t come to seek HIM. They followed Him because they wanted something from Him. They wanted to see signs and wonders…like a magic show! Jesus is not magic. He is God!


{Ask:}

  • Why do you seek Jesus? [Allow for answers]
  • Why do you go to church? Do you go just to be with friends? Or do you go because your parents take you? [Allow for answers]

Jesus knows your motivation. He knows everything. If you are only looking for miracles, or for God to get you out of a mess you created yourself, then Jesus knows you don’t want Him because of Who He is.


What can we learn from the feeding of the 5,000? Jesus has power over nature because He multiplied the food and He walked on water. Jesus is also all-knowing because He knew what the people were thinking and how they were motivated.

What is God saying to you? Jesus loves you because He created you. He wants you to love Him because He created you. He wants a relationship with you based on love, not what He can do for you.

Anne Marie is a Bible Teacher and Bible curriculum writer with more than 25 years of experience. She has created Bible lessons and taught children about Jesus at churches, camps, Christian Schools, and conferences. She is the owner of FutureFlyingSaucers Resources where she helps busy parents and church leaders teach fun, flexible, multi-age, budget-friendly bible object lessons that enhance the spiritual growth of children. She lives with her husband and three children in South Carolina.

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