The apostles returned and reported on what they had done. Jesus took them away, off by themselves, near the town called Bethsaida.
But the crowds got wind of it and followed. Jesus graciously welcomed them and talked to them about the kingdom of God. Those who needed healing, he healed.
As the day declined, the Twelve said, "Dismiss the crowd so they can go to the farms or villages around here and get a room for the night and a bite to eat. We're out in the middle of nowhere."
"You feed them," Jesus said.
(There were more than five thousand people in the crowd.)
They did what he said, and soon had everyone seated.
He took the five loaves and two fish, lifted his face to heaven in prayer, blessed, broke, and gave the bread and fish to the disciples to hand out to the crowd.
After the people had all eaten their fill, twelve baskets of leftovers were gathered up.
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved. (The Message Bible Online)