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THE FEAST BESIDE THE SEA, AND WHAT FOLLOWED IT
Matthew xiv: 13 to 36; Mark vi: 30 to 56; Luke ix: 10 to 17; John vi: 1 to 71.
HEN the twelve disciples came back to Jesus, after
preaching in his name among the villages of Galilee,
they told him of all that they had done, and of what
they had said to the people. The multitudes seeking
after Jesus were now greater than ever before, for it
was again near the time of the Passover, and very many
on their way to Jerusalem turned aside to see and to
hear the great Teacher. So many people were coming and
going that they could scarcely find time even to eat.
Jesus said to the twelve:
"Come with me apart into a quiet place, away from the
crowds, and let us rest for a time."
They went into the boat and rowed across the lake to an
open place, where no one lived, not far from the city
of Bethsaida. But they could not be alone, for the
people saw them going, and watched them from the shore,
and went on foot around the northern end of the lake,
and found them. When Jesus saw how eager the crowds
were to hear him, he took pity on them and taught them,
and healed such among them as were sick.
As it began to grow toward evening, the disciples said
to Jesus, "This is a lonely place, and there is nothing
here for such a crowd of people to eat. Send them away
before it is too late, and tell them to go to the towns
and get food."
But Jesus said to them, "They need not go away. You can
give them food to eat."
They said to him, "Shall we go into the town and buy
two hundred shillings' worth of bread, so that each one
of them may have a little?"
 Jesus turned to Philip, one of his disciples, and said
to him, "Philip, where shall we find bread, that all
these may eat?"
Jesus said this to try Philip's faith, for he himself
knew what he would do. Philip looked at the great
crowd, full five thousand men, besides women and
children, and he said, "Two hundred shillings' worth of
bread would not be enough to give to every one even a
Just then another of the disciples, Andrew, the brother
of Peter, said to Jesus, "There is a boy here who has
five loaves of barley bread and two little fishes; but
what use would they be among so many people?"
Jesus said to the disciples, "Go out among the people,
and divide them into companies of fifty and a hundred,
and tell them to sit down in order."
So the people all sat down; and upon the green grass,
arranged in rows and squares in their garments of
different colors, they looked like beds of flowers.
Then Jesus took into his hands the five loaves and the
two fishes which the boy had brought. He looked up to
heaven, and blessed the food; and broke the loaves and
the dried fishes, and gave the pieces to the disciples.
They went among the companies of people, and gave to
everyone bread and fish, as much as each needed. So
they all ate, and had enough.
JESUS BLESSES THE FOOD
Then Jesus said, "Gather up the pieces of food that are
left, so that nothing may be lost."
Each of the disciples carried a basket among the
people, and when they came to Jesus all the twelve
baskets were filled with pieces that were left over of
the five loaves and the two fishes.
When the people saw that here was one who could give
them food, they were ready at once to make Jesus their
king, and to break away from the rule of the Romans.
Jesus was a King, but he would not be such a king as
they wished. His kingdom was to be in the hearts of men
who loved him, not a kingdom set up by the swords of
soldiers. He found that his disciples were ready to
help the people to make him a king, even against his
So Jesus first compelled his disciples to go on board
the boat, though they were not willing to do so, and to
row across the lake to Capernaum. Then he sent away the
great crowd of people who were still eager that he
should be their king. And when all had
 gone away, and he was left alone, he went up into the
mountain to pray. While he was praying in the night a
great storm arose upon the lake, and from the mountain
Jesus could see his disciples working hard with their
oars against the waves, although they could not see
him. A little after midnight, when the storm was the
highest, Jesus went to his disciples, walking upon the
water, just as though the sea was dry land. The men in
the boat saw a strange figure coming near them upon the
sea, and cried out with fear, for they thought that it
must be a spirit. But Jesus called out to them, "Be of
good cheer; it is I; be not afraid!" And then they knew
that it was their Lord.
"BE OF GOOD CHEER, IT IS I"
Peter spoke to Jesus, and said, "Lord, if it be thou,
 come to thee, walking upon the water." And Jesus said
to Peter, "Come."
Then Simon Peter leaped overboard from the ship, and
he, too, walked on the water to go to Jesus. But when
he saw how great was the storm on the sea, he began to
be afraid, and forgetting to trust in the word of
Jesus, he began to sink. He cried out, "Lord, save me!"
And Jesus reached out his hand, and caught hold of him,
and lifted him up, saying, "O man of little faith, why
did you doubt my word?"
When Jesus came on board the boat with Peter, at once
the wind ceased and the sea was calm. The disciples
wondered greatly as they saw the power of Jesus. They
fell down before him, and said, "In truth thou art the
Son of God!" When they came to the shore, and the
daylight arose, they saw that they were at the land of
Gennesaret, a plain a little to the south of Capernaum.
They went ashore; and as soon as the people saw Jesus,
and knew who he was, they brought their sick to him,
and begged that they might only touch the border of his
garment; and as many as touched him were made well.
 Soon after this Jesus came again to Capernaum, and went
into the synagogue, which was full of people, some of
whom had eaten of the five loaves a few days before.
These people wished Jesus to feed them in the same way
again, but Jesus said to them, "Seek not for food that
passes away, but for the food that gives everlasting
life, such as the Son of man can give you."
They said to him, "What sign can you show that God has
sent you? Moses gave our fathers bread from heaven, the
manna in the desert. What can you do?"
You have read of the manna which fed the Israelites in
the wilderness in Story 24.
Then Jesus said to them, "It was not Moses, but God,
who gave your fathers bread; and God gives you now the
true bread from heaven, in his Son who came down from
heaven, to give life to the world."
As soon as the people found that Jesus would not work
wonders to please them, they turned away from him and
left him, although only a few days before they would
have made him a king. When Jesus saw that the great
crowds of people were with him no longer, Jesus said to
his twelve disciples, "Will you also go away and leave
Then Simon Peter answered him, "Lord, to whom else can
we go? for thou only hast the words that will give us