Bible Stories Explained: The Feeding Of The 5,000

Funny story written by Monkey Woods

Tuesday, 14 April 2020

image for Bible Stories Explained: The Feeding Of The 5,000
The boy, laid on top of one of the fish

The Bible is an interesting book. Many people have read it, all over the world. But, as well as being interesting and widely-read, it can also be a difficult read, and much of its content often needs much further explanation before one can understand what it is trying to teach us.

With this in mind, has decided to offer its readership the toolkit with which the Bible can be understood.

The first in this series of explanations, is:

The Feeding of the 5,000*

This parable tells us about a miracle Jesus performed after he had heard of the death of John the Baptist [1]. He got in a boat of an unspecified size, and sailed to a solitary spot [2]. The people followed on foot, along the shore. When he got out of the boat, he saw the large crowd, and started to heal the sick [3], as you do.

Time was moving on, and the disciples suggested that Jesus should send the crowds away before the shops shut, otherwise, they wouldn't be able to get anything to eat [4]. Jesus said there was no need for that, and that the disciples should feed the throng [5]. The disciples expressed shock, as all they had were five loaves and two fishes [6], given to them by 'a boy' [7].

To cut a long, boring story short, Jesus took the food, broke it up, and fed everyone, with the disciples picking up twelve baskets of leftovers [8].

[1] The question about just how Jesus heard about John's death is not easily answered. In those days, there was no television, radio, or internet by which he could have learned the news. There were no newspapers, so he didn't read about it in the Obituaries. There was no motorised transport, so nobody just jumped off a bus saying "John's dead!", or anything like that.

In view of the above, it seems likely that someone walked up and told him.

The problem with this explanation though, is that, if the 'someone' had been mistaken, and John hadn't been killed, there would have been no need for any of the rest of the story to take place.

Makes you think, doesn't it?

[2] The boat was likely to have been the same size as the rowing boats that can be hired in Peasholm Park, Scarborough.

[3] Healing sick people was a hobby Jesus used to delight in. Leprosy, blindness, disfigured faces like John Merrick, twisted ankles, all that kind of caper, were food and drink to Jesus, who was a dab hand at curing the sick. Nobody has a clue how he did it.

[4] There were no chip shops at this stage of history, nor any takeaways.

[5] It's not known why, out of 5,000 people, only the one boy had any food with him, and why anyone, anywhere, walks around the countryside with five loaves and two fish on him, especially when we tell you about the size of the fish.

[6] The mystery over the five loaves is one that may never be solved, but the 'fishes' problem is rather easier. The fish in question were two enormous North Atlantic Halibut (pictured). What's not clear is how they made the 4,000-mile journey in time for supper.

[7] It's odd that nobody, from that day to this, has bothered to identify this 'boy'. His inclusion in the tale begs several questions:

• Tupperware not yet having been invented, where was he keeping the fish?

• wouldn't he have stunk to high heaven?

• didn't he bring any salt, vinegar or tartare sauce?

We'll never know, of course.

[8] The 'twelve baskets of leftover food' collected by the disciples, tells us that:

a) nobody had heard of putting litter in a bin

b) the 'baskets' were the size of thimbles

I hope that this explanation of the 'Feeding of the 5,000' was of some use to you in explaining a complex story.

Look out for more Bible gubbins soon, if I can be bothered.

* Not the Crass album of the same name.

The funny story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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