"Come and See": A Web Commentary on the Gospel of John: Section 7 Jesus and the Passover

7.1A Passover Sign: The Loaves and Fishes (Jn 6.1-15)

6 1Afterward Jesus went away across the Sea of Galilee to the region of Tiberias12. 2And a large crowd followed him, because they saw the signs that he worked on the sick. 3And Jesus went up on to the mountain and he sat down there with his disciples. 4The Passover was near, the Jewish festival.

5After Jesus looked up and saw that a large crowd was coming toward him, he said to Philip, 'Where will we buy bread for them to eat?' 6Now he said this as a test, for he knew what he was going to do. 7Philip answered him, 'Two hundred denarii's3 worth of bread is not enough for each of them to have a little piece.' 8One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, said to him, 9'There is a young boy here who has five barley loaves and two small fish but what is that for so many?' 10Jesus said, 'Make the people sit down.' (There was a lot of grass in that spot.) So they sat down, about five thousand men in number. 11Then Jesus took the loaves and after he gave thanks, he gave them out to those who were seated and likewise also some of the fish, as much as they wished. 12So when they had their fill, he said to his disciples, 'Gather the left-over pieces so they won't be wasted.' 13Then they gathered them and filled twelve baskets of pieces of the five loaves left over by those that ate. 14So the people, seeing the sign that he did, said 'Truly this man is the prophet to come into the world!' 15Then Jesus, knowing that they were about to come and carry him away to make him a king, went back to the mountain alone.

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1This translation does not reflect the majority reading of NA28: see below.

2Tiberias was a city on the western shore of the Sea of Galilee, founded by Herod Antipas to be his capital and named in honour of the emperor, Tiberius.

3A denarius was roughly a day's wages for a workman, so Philip is saying that more than a half-year's wages wouldn't buy enough for the crowd.