The apostles returned to Jesus from their ministry tour and told him all they had done and what they had taught.
Then Jesus said, "Let's get away from the crowds for a while and rest." There were so many people coming and going that Jesus and his apostles didn't even have time to eat.
They left by boat for a quieter spot.
But many people saw them leaving, and people from many towns ran ahead along the shore and met them as they landed.
A vast crowd was there as he stepped from the boat, and he had compassion on them because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he taught them many things.
Late in the afternoon his disciples came to him and said, "This is a desolate place, and it is getting late.
Send the crowds away so they can go to the nearby farms and villages and buy themselves some food."
But Jesus said, "You feed them." "With what?" they asked. "It would take a small fortune to buy food for all this crowd!"
"How much food do you have?" he asked. "Go and find out." They came back and reported, "We have five loaves of bread and two fish."
Then Jesus told the crowd to sit down in groups on the green grass.
So they sat in groups of fifty or a hundred.
Jesus took the five loaves and two fish, looked up toward heaven, and asked God's blessing on the food. Breaking the loaves into pieces, he kept giving the bread and fish to the disciples to give to the people.
They all ate as much as they wanted,
and they picked up twelve baskets of leftover bread and fish.
Five thousand men had eaten from those five loaves!
Immediately after this, Jesus made his disciples get back into the boat and head out across the lake to Bethsaida, while he sent the people home.
Afterward he went up into the hills by himself to pray.
During the night, the disciples were in their boat out in the middle of the lake, and Jesus was alone on land.
He saw that they were in serious trouble, rowing hard and struggling against the wind and waves. About three o'clock in the morning he came to them, walking on the water. He started to go past them,
but when they saw him walking on the water, they screamed in terror, thinking he was a ghost.
They were all terrified when they saw him. But Jesus spoke to them at once. "It's all right," he said. "I am here! Don't be afraid."
Then he climbed into the boat, and the wind stopped. They were astonished at what they saw.
They still didn't understand the significance of the miracle of the multiplied loaves, for their hearts were hard and they did not believe.