The Feeding of the Five Thousand


Mark 6:30-44


It's a picnic! You and a few of your friends are going off for a quiet time in the park. You've packed a few sandwiches, some crisps, a few pieces of fruit and a bar of chocolate. As you walk along the road you look forward to your sunny afternoon together.

What you hadn't reckoned on was that some other people near where you live had seen you setting off. Looked like you were going to have fun. So just as you've settled down they come along and join in. Well, it's not so bad - a bit less quiet than you'd planned, maybe, but you're all enjoying yourselves and before you know where you are, an hour or two has slipped by and it's tea time.

But you soon realize there's a problem; your picnic was only for four of you. There's a good many more than that here now and most of them are getting really hungry. What are you going to do? You can't eat until they've gone and it doesn't look like they're going anyway. A quick whip-round manages to raise a few pennies and one of your friends runs off to the corner shop. You set about cutting up the sandwiches into smaller pieces. You end up with lots of little bits of sandwiches and the crisps from the shop (tuna and peanut flavour only!). Now you can offer them to everyone and they all join in.

Well, who knows if everyone went away full up. But there was one occasion in which something just like this happened to Jesus and his friends - and in Storykeepers Ben the Baker still remembers it as he saw it, years and years ago...


Episode 1a: Breakout


There are lots of things we want, Lord. Even when we have plenty, sometimes we are worried that there will not be enough for us. Perhaps we do not really need all those things, but we are still anxious we may miss out.

We know, too, that there are many people who do not even have what they need to live. Help us feel able to share with them.

Just as the Five Thousand people who heard you were all satisfied, help us to know that you care for us all, and that your love is big enough for all of us.


'Bread for the World' No.75 in The Complete Come and Praise
BBC, 1990 ISBN 0 563 345810


The Feeding of the Five Thousand is the first biblical story presented in Storykeepers. It is a central theme because of its rich imagery and symbolism: caring, sharing and fairness are shown as fundamental values. At an even deeper level, the blessing and breaking of the bread reminds Christians, both in the first century and today, of the Last Supper and how Jesus offered himself and his gifts to be shared among everyone.

This is also the episode in which we are told that Ben the Baker, as a small boy, saw Jesus himself. Ben represents the tradition of Mark's gospel - the earliest of the four gospels.

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