The fourteenth chapter of Matthew begins with Jesus and His disciples having travelled from His home town of Nazareth. The people had been offended by His wisdom and mighty works so Jesus left and “did not do many mighty works there because of their unbelief.” (Matt 13:58) John the Baptist had been beheaded by Herod and Jesus, upon hearing the news, had tried to depart to a deserted place. The multitudes followed Him by foot, and when Jesus saw such a great throng (some estimate close to 10,000 people )”…He was moved with compassion for them, and healed their sick.” The disciples wanted Jesus to send the people away to buy food but He told them to give them something to eat. ( “…He said this as a test, for He Himself knew what He would do.” John 6:6) Andrew presented Jesus with a lad’s supper of 5 barley loaves and 2 small fish. He had the disciples make the people sit in groups and after having given thanks, He instructed that the food be distributed freely to those sitting down. After gathering the leftovers into 12 baskets, He sent the disciples in their boat to cross to the other side of the Sea of Galilee. Jesus knew that the people would try to make him their ruler, so he quickly dispersed them and departed to the mountain to pray. *** (Depending on which Bible story you are highlighting…there will be different facts such as numbers fed ..i.e. either 4,000 or 5,000, number of baskets gathering leftovers, supply of food etc. They are 2 different stories! You may want to point this out if your kids are older) A storm was impeding the progress of the boat so between 3-6 a.m. Jesus walked out to them . The disciples shrieked with fear but Jesus told them to “… be of good cheer!…I AM!…do not be afraid!”( Matt. 14:27) When Jesus got into their boat, the wind ceased and immediately the boat was at land where they were going. The disciples were now firmly convinced that Jesus was (and is, and always will be) the Son of God!
Did you notice the contrast of responses to Jesus from unbelief to worship and faith? When Jesus sends us into the storm…never fear….for He has dominion over the waves…and when you get to the shore…get ready…. for there are still multitudes that need to be healed and fed. (Matthew 15)
*****Note: Have you ever wondered if the fish were served cooked? I did so I looked up the Greek and noticed a clue in John 6:11….the word for “fishes” here is opsarion”…which is translated”…whatever is eaten with bread especially boiled or roasted. The other word for fish in the Greek is “ichthys” which you find in the miraculous draught in John 21:8, as well as many other places.
Cut where indicated and color page. Color wave sections with different shades of blue…cut out. Overlap the waves on a piece of black cardstock 3 inches wide and glue in place. Cut out the figure of Jesus and glue as shown in sample above. With silver gel pen, write the words ( Take courage! I AM!) and have the kids draw the disciple’s boat. Add goldfish crackers where shown..***Be sure and check for food allergies and do not use them if there are kids in your class with food sensitivities… you can use the simple fish shapes on the “Peter is Restored” blog. This worksheet is easily separated into two lessons.