Jesus Feeds the 5000
Includes Video, Games, Skits
The following four lessons include my lesson plan for our "Five Loaves ~ Two Fishes lesson CD, however, you don't need to use the software to use these lessons! The four lessons each feature a different teaching method and media, and are to be used 3 to 4 weeks in a row to really drive home this important story. I have written these four lessons with Workshop Rotation Model Sunday School in mind, but you can certainly use them in a traditional program as well.
As discussed in the CD's guide, and is suitable for all lessons, the story of the Feeding of the 5000 is NOT primarily a story about "sharing what you have." Rather, Jesus uses the opportunity to share WHO HE IS with the crowd and his disciples, --that he is The One sent by God to save the people. His revelation to us requires a response, and that is why many of the following lessons address the "what now" of the story.
Suffice to say, the accounts largely agree, all though, notably only John has the small boy offering his food. Thus, his presence in the miracle should not be overstated as to shadow the centrality of the miracle as a sign pointing to Jesus. In the Bible Skills and Games Workshop, the children will compare the versions.
Students watch Nest's "Bread of Heaven" DVD. Click here to order directly from Nest's website. The DVD combines the Feeding of the 5000 (where Jesus signals who he really is to the crowd) with Jesus' declaration of his identity as "The Bread of Heaven". Download a free PDF copy of the Bread of Heaven DVD Activity Book from Sunday Software's website! (5mb) This free Nest resource has coloring pages and puzzles about the story for younger and older children.
1. Prior to Showing the DVD:
3. After Showing the DVD:
Computer Workshop/Class: 5 Loaves ~ 2 Fishes CD
Bible Skills & Game Workshop/Class: GAME STATIONS, Comparing the Gospels.
Your Bible Study will be in the format of an Olympic Game. You'll create various "Game Stations" for teams to go and accomplish certain tasks before moving on. Some stations require/teach Bible Skills, and will cover basic content in the Feeding of the 5000 story.
You can have 2 or more students per team. Be careful that certain students don't dominate the activity. At the end of these "Olympics" you will draw everyone together for final Bible study and reflection.
Divide into teams and then go over the instructions. Prizes will be at your discretion, but certainly giving candies is not ungodly! At the end of the games, MULTIPLY all the candies just as Jesus did.... piling together the prizes and then demonstrably ADDING your own stash of candy to their pile. Make sure there is "candy left over" for them to give to their parents.
Assign helper/referees to each station. Give each referee a scorecard to write down each team's score. Compile scores when all teams have finished so nobody knows which team is really winning. Adapt the stations for your class sizes and needs. TEAMS ROTATE BETWEEN STATIONS until all have completed.
You can have teams rotate together one station at a time, or split up the teams to different stations. Depends on your size and setup.
Game Station One: Bible Story Shuffle ==ALL TEAMS BEGIN HERE--
Prepare ahead of time a set of Feeding of the 5000 "Verse Pages" using the following verse sections from John 6. Give each team a set of these verses, and explain the game. Instructions: After hearing the teacher read the scripture, when you say "go", they turn over their verse sets and assemble the story in the correct order. Have a helper (who knows the correct order) announce when the team has put them in the right order. Award 50 points for 1st place, 30 for 2nd Place, 15 for 3rd Place, and 10 for 4th. Now have them turn their pages upside down and shuffle them. Read the story again and time them again for more points.
Game Station Two: The Fishin' Game
Teams use a fishing pole that has a magnet on the end of the line. They cast into a pond to retrieve discussion questions that have both a point value just for 'catching' the question, plus 10 bonus points for answering the question correctly (to the satisfaction of the teacher). Each team can only make 5 casts, so you'll need about 10 possible questions to cast for. Tape a small piece of metal to fish shaped paper that have questions written on them. Spread the questions from each other so that they only "catch" one when retrieving their magnet lure.
Here are four starter questions, add three more of your own, and label three others as "super bonus point" fish that don't require an answer because they have no question! (A "Grace" fish)
Game Station Three: Read
and Compare All Four Gospels
Game Station Four:
Collect the Bread into the Baskets!
Now here's the kicker: to receive a loaf of Bread to throw, the student has to answer one of three questions which you have conveniently posted on a poster board: #1: Tell us part of the story of the Feeding of the 5000. #2: Tell us something about Jesus Christ that's important. -or #3: Tell us something we can do that helps us learn more about Jesus and serve him. ...and... They cannot repeat what other students have already said. Have a helper make note of some of the things the kids say, and use these in the closing.
Closing Reflection: Walk to each station with all the teams and ask the Helpers to mention something unique they learned there from the students. When you get to the "Station Three: Compare the Gospels", point out why we have four slightly different versions of the Gospel. Ask "Why do you think all four writers would remember this story? What was so important to remember?"
If you have time, have each student cut out a fish and give them a sticky magnet to put on it for their home frig. Have them write a fun saying on the fish, such as, "Feed Me Jesus!" and "Soul Fish from Jesus" and "Hooked by the Lord".
Drama Workshop/Class: "The Day After" --3 imagined versions of "Small Boy" at home "the day after" he met Jesus.
The following "different kind of skits" harken back to a style of skits we used to do in youth group. They're a great way to free kids up from reading scripts, and engaging the audience. I would expect you to expand on them, as they have a bit if "improv" to them.
Questions for the Disciple:
Questions for the Small Boy:
Ask the children if they know what the phrase "talk the talk and walk the walk" means. Explain it to them. Jesus wants us to say that we believe, and ACT like we believe. Say: Jesus' miracle was meant to reveal WHO HE REALLY WAS to the crowd and to his disciples. He wants us to BELIEVE in him as the Savior, the Christ, so that we can do more than just TALK about following him, but have the strength of belief to ACT like him.
How do we ACT like Jesus? (caring, kindness, healing, forgiving, teaching and learning God's Word, praying, worshipping).
Jesus did this miracle because he wants us to BELIEVE in him, and go home from the crowd that day and tell others, and lead holy lives. What happens AFTER you go to church, what happens THE DAY AFTER you say you believe, is important. It's walking the walk, and not just talking the talk.
"The Day After" Skits
Skit Slip One: Lord, I wanna join your band.
Small boy picks up the phone and calls Jesus, dialing the numbers outloud. Jesus answers "hello". Hello you've reached the Lord Jesus' voicemail. Press 1 if you want to follow me. Press Zero if you don't. Small boy presses 1, and Jesus picked up the phone. Finally! someone wants to follow me, Jesus said doing a little victory dance. It's me, smallboy, he said breathlessly like he was really out of breath, and I wanna join your band Jesus. My band? Jesus asked...you mean my rock band? or my disciple's band? Uh, there's a difference?, said small boy looking really unsure, and kind of lost. Not really, said Jesus, excitedly talking with his hands. Both bands ROCK, said Jesus as he played his electric guitar. Louder. And they are both kind of the same. Oh? said a confused small boy, hitting his forehead as he tried to figure out what Jesus meant. Yeah, said Jesus striking a rockstar pose. Both my rockband and my disciples band follow me, the leader. We practice together, he said, doing a rockstar yell O Yeah! We go on the road together, he said walking around in circles. We do a lot of singing, Jesus said as he started to sing a song of praise. I only play the guitar, said small boy as he pretended to air guitar, down on one knee. That's okay said Jesus, excitedly gesturing with his hands, and feet. When you join my band, you bring whatever gifts you have, and put them in with everyone else's, and my Father in Heaven blesses them so that we sound GREAT together, he said pumping his fist in the air. Awesome Dude! said small boy. I mean, uh, How nice Lord Jesus. No it is AWESOME DUDE, said Jesus, striking a rockstar pose, flipping his hair. So how to I get started said small boy. Well, said Jesus, pointing his finger in the air, my band practices every Sunday morning, said Jesus looking strongly over his phone at small boy who he could see across the phoneline because he was the Lord, every Sunday morning at your local church. Shall I expect you? To which small boy, jumping with joy, kicking up his feet, and landing in a rockstar pose said, "Yes Dude! ...I mean Lord. See you then.
Skit Slip Two: Get Out of Bed!
It's 8 am on Sunday morning and Small girl is still snoring in bed. Her alarm clock sounds. She hits the alarm clock. It sounds again, and she hits it again, and starts snoring again. Her mom yells up the stairs, Time to go to church Small girl! Small girl snores louder. Mom walks loudly up the stairs yelling again. Come on....you yourself said you believe in Jesus Christ, so it's up to you to get out of bed and go learn about him and worship him. Small girl pulled the covers up over her head, and mumbled. Look! said her mother as she tore the sheets off small girl's bed. Small girl cringed because all she had on was her My Little Pony underwear. MOM! I'm tired! shouted small girl as she sat up, then started jumping on the bed. Well, you're up now, dear, get ready for church. But Mom, I got to bed late, said small girl as she stomped her feet, and gritted her teeth, and flipped her long flowing hair, while putting on a shirt. That's tough small girl. But when you make a choice to believe in Jesus, you make a commitment to go learn from him too. Now here, take your fish, and your bread, and put on this dress. And here, let me help you put on your shoes. Why is this shoe stuck? I should push harder. MOM! There, now I'll meet you in the car, she said as she skipped back down the stairs. But Mom! said small girl as she threw herself on the floor...I'm so tired, Jesus will understand, won't he? ...she said as she stomped down the stairs. then realized she had stomped all the way to the basement, and stomped back upstairs to the garage. Get in the car dear, if you're going to "talk the talk" of faith, then you've got to walk the walk of faith. And they drove off to church, in their noisy car, a little too fast.
Skit Slip Three: Carry me Daddy?
It was 9 am Sunday morning, and everyone was just waking up at the small boy's home. Small boy was yawning. And rubbing his eyes. And scratching his bum. And small boy's dad was getting up, yawning, rubbing his eyes, shaving his face, gargling mouthwash, and sipping coffee. Dad? Said small boy, I want to go to church this morning. What? said dad as he spit up his coffee. You want to go to church? It's boring! he said as he threw down his newspaper. Yeah, I know it's boring sometimes dad, said small boy as he picked up the paper, and gave it back to his dad, and shook his finger at him for his terrible attitude. Dad, it's Jesus, I met him yesterday and he's The One! See my finger signaling that? Number 1, Dad, Number 1. See my toes signaling that? He's the Messiah Dad. the Messiah? said dad, scratching his head, and fluffing his hair. You think he might be the one sent by God, huh? said the Dad while he brushed his teeth and mumble something with frothy toothpaste coming out of his mouth. Yeah, said the small boy as he started to brush his teeth and frothing at the mouth. And if that's true Dad, we own him our attention and our worship and our service. WHAT? said the dad frothing at the mouth. I don't understand you? I said, said the small boy still brushing his teeth and spitting, I said he's the Son of God DAD! I know it, I saw it, I feeeeeel it, say the small boy rubbing his hands all through his hair to show how much he was feeling it. And wiggling his body Well, Okay, said the dad, but remember, your legs don't work sometimes, and it sure looks like your legs are all wobbly this morning. Really wobbly, so here, let me give you a piggy back ride to church, because if Jesus in the One, then we BOTH need to go learn from him. And the Dad gave a piggyback ride to the small boy, and they went to church. And they went up hill, and downhill, and around a curve, and the small boy waved at his friends as they passed by. Come to church with us, he shouted, Jesus in the One, come one! And the children all ran and joined in the piggyback ride to church on the Dad. Because that's what makes Jesus happy... people like Dad and small boy, and other kids coming to learn from him, and learn that he is their Lord. Amen!
I hope you recognize and enjoy this type of skit. It was made popular on the TV show "Who's Line Is It Anyway". This type of skit is a really great way to free up kids from having to read scripts, and instead, just REACT to the narration. The audience really loves it too. Consider videotaping the skits for fun.
Learn more about our Five Loaves ~ 2 Fishes CD
About Five Loaves ~ 2 Fishes CD
The CD is an interactive lesson that puts your students in the role of the small boy who offered his bread and fish to help Jesus.
6:30-44; Luke 9:10-17; John 6:1-15.
Play begins on Peter's boat on the Sea of Galilee. The player navigates to Bethsaida, where according to Luke, the miracle took place. The player goes to find Uncle Reuben who needs to be convinced to spare the time to go listen to Jesus.
Then in the village, the player must then find 5 loaves and 2 fishes and go find Jesus with his uncle. The village features a lot of houses and passageways to explore.
After the hunt, your students must find Jesus and the crowd and listen to some of his teachings. They will then have the opportunity to offer their bread and fish to Jesus so that the crowd can be fed. Uncle Reuben finally sees the light! ...and gives voice to why it is important to learn Jesus' teachings, and believe.
After the miracle, the player collects the full baskets, receives some final words from Jesus, then heads back onto the lake with Uncle Reuben for some fishing and quiz questions. The questions include follow-up discussion questions for the teacher to ask.
All totaled, it takes about 20-25 minutes to play the game, depending on the age of your students and how much you help them.
What does this story teach us? You may be surprised. Read our Teacher's Guide for a complete outline, navigational helps, game secrets, and Bible Background.
Our primary goal in this game is to "teach the story". We have created the character of "Uncle Reuben" for your players (the small boy) to interact with. Reuben isn't sure why he would want to go listen to Jesus. He's busy! But they both hope for the Messiah, the Savior, and that convinces Reuben to go along. And that's the point of the miracle of the multiplication: Jesus announces who he really is. It's a sign, a call to belief. Read our Teacher's Guide for more about how this wonderful story is about MORE than sharing bread, it's about Christ sharing who he is with us, and calling us to believe in him.