Note: This series is written as a first-person narrative in order to present Jesus in the context he walked with the unknown disciple that narrates presenting my thoughts and sparking more thoughts with his questions. Enjoy.
We arrived at where Jesus was waiting with the news of John’s execution. After hearing the news, he got into a boat alone and left, letting us know where he will land. I watched as he rowed away, saddened that my Lord was mourning. John the Baptist was his cousin after all.
When the other disciples arrived, we struck out again for Bethsaida where Jesus said he’d meet us. Going by boat, he beat us there, and we surrounded him, telling him all we’d done and seen. Being close to Passover, celebrating the deliverance from Egypt through Moses, there were large crowds heading towards Jerusalem.
Someone recognized him and a large crowd, larger than the population of Capernaum, soon surrounded us. Jesus taught and healed until it grew late. James and Bartholomew came up to Jesus and said, “Send the crowd away so they can go to the surrounding villages and countryside and find food and lodging because we are in a remote place here.”
He replied, “You give them something to eat.”
They answered, “We have only five loaves of bread and two fish—unless we go and buy food for all this crowd.”
Jesus, with a smile, said to Philip, “Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?”
Philip, having grown up in the area, replied: “It would take more than half a year’s wages to buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!”
Jesus said, “Have the people sit down.” There was plenty of grass in that place, and they sat down.
We spread out to pass the word. I looked back to see Jesus take the loaves from the young boy who offered them. He smiled, said something, and gave thanks, and distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted. He did the same with the fish, going to every person individually.
When they had all had enough to eat, he said to his disciples, “Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted.” So they gathered them and filled twelve baskets with the pieces of the five barley loaves left over by those who had eaten.
I whispered to Matthew, “There are over 5,000 men here, not even counting their wives and children.”
“We couldn’t have bought enough food if we had even tried,” he answered.
We stopped, listening to talk nearby.
After the people saw the sign Jesus performed, they began to say, “Surely this is the Prophet who is to come into the world.” The crowd began to stir, and I got an uneasy feeling in my stomach.
Jesus stopped as if listening. He walked up to Simon, said something, and disappeared into the dusk towards another mountain by himself.
I need to ask Simon where he was going…