Lunchtime with Jesus 

(A Bible Story, retold by Cassie)
  

Jesus awoke early one morning to a loud knock on his bedroom door. 

“Yes, who is it?” He called wearily.

He had been in the middle of a lovely dream, about the time when he had turned water into wine and was chuckling at the memory of all the surprised faces. Jesus’ friends, Peter and John, eagerly burst through the door, before he had a chance to say anything else.

“Jesus, Jesus!” They called to him excitedly. “There’s a large group of people outside, they want you to…”

“I’m not turning water into wine again,” he interrupted them before they could finish speaking.

“Oh no! It isn’t that.” the two friends laughed. “They want you to tell them all about God again.”

“Well…” Jesus replied, a little hesitantly, feeling it was still rather early in the day to be entertaining large crowds, but he agreed nonetheless. “I suppose so.” 

He got up, quickly got dressed, put on his shoes and followed his two friends out of the house. 

Sure enough, a large crowd was waiting for him eagerly. So many people had gathered outside his front door, that they were blocking the narrow street. The group cheered as he came out to meet them. Jesus smiled warmly and greeted them in return.

“It’s rather too crowded here”. he told them. “Let’s go over there, where we’ll have more room to sit down and relax,” he pointed to a grove of trees on a small hill nearby.
The crowd agreed and followed Jesus to the place he had indicated. It took a few minutes to walk there and many other people of all ages joined them on the way, so that by the time they arrived at the hill, the group had grown by several hundred. 

The people found places to sit under some trees, to shade them from the hot sun. Jesus sat on a rock, where they would all be able to see him, and began to talk about God. He told them how God loves men, women and children, whether old or young, tall, short, fat, thin, black, white, yellow or brown, just the same. The people enjoyed listening to what he had to say and asked many questions. 

More people came to join the group while he was talking, so the crowd had soon grown to several thousand people. The day went by pleasantly as Jesus spoke, but the people began to feel hungry around lunchtime. Some of the listeners began to stand up and leave, to go home for lunch, when Jesus’ friends Peter and John called to them.

“Hey, don’t go! Let’s eat lunch together!”

“But we didn’t bring any food with us.” The crowd responded, their stomachs rumbling audibly.

“That’s ok,” Peter told them, smiling. “Jesus will feed us.” 

Jesus looked up at the sky, as if asking God what to do. After a slight pause he responded. “Ok then, who did bring food with them today?” he asked the crowd gathered there.

Everyone shook their heads sadly. Then one small boy put up his hand and replied a little timidly, “My mum gave me some bread and fish for my lunch.” He showed them the bread and fish in his basket. “I’ll share it with you if you like, but I don’t think it’s enough for everyone.” He glanced around at the thousands of hungry faces and giggled shyly.

“Oh, don’t worry about that.” said Jesus reassuringly. “That will be enough for all of us.”

The crowd began to laugh in disbelief and tried to calculate what tiny crumbs they would all get when Jesus had divided the small loaves of bread and little fish into five thousand pieces. 

Jesus ignored the noise and prayed for God to bless the food. He then divided up the bread and fish and sent Peter, John and his other best friends to serve all of the people. Everyone ate until they felt full and even gave back the food they could not finish, which filled a large number of baskets. 

“Wow!” Exclaimed the little boy who had shared his food. “My bread and fish must have grown a lot, look how much is left over for later!” 

He and the others in the crowd knew they must have seen a miracle that day, because food doesn’t usually multiply like that. As evening came, the crowd began to drift back to their houses for a rest. Jesus was soon left alone with his twelve best friends, who also decided it was time to go home.

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