Feeding of the Five Thousand
- A new addition to the Jesus Collection
It is also part of The Untold Story of Jesus, the new modern biography from The Urantia Book’s teachings, available May 15th! To pre-order, CLICK HERE
Feeding of the Five Thousand by Walter Rane
Dear TruthBook Friends,
Walter Rane, a famous Mormon artist, has created this commissioned masterpiece for our Gallery and for the new book, The Untold Story of Jesus. It is called Feeding the Five Thousand. And, as the name implies, it depicts Jesus’ miraculous multiplying of the loaves and fishes. Few miracles of Jesus are better known than this one. The story appears in all four gospels and in The Urantia Book, too. But, in The Urantia Book, we learn details of this amazing miracle that are new and thrilling. Nowhere else is this story told so completely or explained in such a beautiful way.
In his painting of the miraculous scene, Walter Rane has brought together a “cast of thousands.” In the foreground, we see young John Mark with his two fishes and Andrew with the basket of barley loaves. Jesus breaks the bread as several apostles deliver the bounty to the seated groups. As far as the eye can see, the multitudes are gathered. And, the people stretch out their hands to receive with great joy. Walter has made this electric scene come alive for us who witness it. It is little wonder that this nature miracle prompted the crowd to declare the Jesus was their king!
Setting the stage
In the days preceding this amazing event, Jesus’ fame as a healer had been spreading. The story of the supposed healing of the Kheresa lunatic was very well known. The woman with the scourging hemorrhage experienced a healing according to her faith. And shortly after that, the people believed that Jesus raised Jairus’ daughter from the dead. Growing numbers of people were hanging on Jesus' every word by then. They followed after him so that “Everywhere he went the sick and the afflicted were waiting for him.”
All Jesus wanted was to get away from the crowds and rest. So, on Sunday he attempted to escape across the lake to a park, but the people determined to follow after him. The rumor among the crowd was that Jesus would be crowned king in this beautiful park:
“Monday afternoon the multitude had increased to more than three thousand. And still—way into the evening—the people continued to flock in, bringing all manner of sick folks with them. Hundreds of interested persons had made their plans to stop over at Capernaum to see and hear Jesus on their way to the Passover, and they simply refused to be disappointed. By Wednesday noon about five thousand men, women, and children were assembled here in this park to the south of Bethsaida-Julias. The weather was pleasant, it being near the end of the rainy season in this locality.”
This was the stage setting about five o’clock on Wednesday afternoon, when Jesus asked James Alpheus to summon Andrew and Philip. Said Jesus: “What shall we do with the multitude? They have been with us now three days, and many of them are hungry. They have no food.” Philip and Andrew exchanged glances, and then Philip answered: “Master, you should send these people away so that they may go to the villages around about and buy themselves food.” And Andrew, fearing the materialization of the king plot, quickly joined with Philip, saying: “Yes, Master, I think it best that you dismiss the multitude so that they may go their way and buy food while you secure rest for a season.” By this time others of the twelve had joined the conference. Then said Jesus: “But I do not desire to send them away hungry; can you not feed them?” This was too much for Philip, and he spoke right up: “Master, in this country place where can we buy bread for this multitude? Two hundred denarii worth would not be enough for lunch.”
Before the apostles had an opportunity to express themselves, Jesus turned to Andrew and Philip, saying: “I do not want to send these people away. Here they are, like sheep without a shepherd. I would like to feed them. What food have we with us?” While Philip was conversing with Matthew and Judas, Andrew sought out the Mark lad to ascertain how much was left of their store of provisions. He returned to Jesus, saying: “The lad has left only five barley loaves and two dried fishes"—and Peter promptly added, “We have yet to eat this evening.”
For a moment Jesus stood in silence. There was a faraway look in his eyes. The apostles said nothing. Jesus turned suddenly to Andrew and said, “Bring me the loaves and fishes.” And when Andrew had brought the basket to Jesus, the Master said: “Direct the people to sit down on the grass in companies of one hundred and appoint a leader over each group while you bring all of the evangelists here with us.”
Jesus took up the loaves in his hands, and after he had given thanks, he broke the bread and gave to his apostles, who passed it on to their associates, who in turn carried it to the multitude. Jesus in like manner broke and distributed the fishes. And this multitude did eat and were filled. And when they had finished eating, Jesus said to the disciples: “Gather up the broken pieces that remain over so that nothing will be lost.” And when they had finished gathering up the fragments, they had twelve basketfuls. They who ate of this extraordinary feast numbered about five thousand men, women, and children.
Read the full Urantia Book account of Feeding the Five Thousand
Feeding the Five Thousand by Walter Rane is part of the Mo and Jennifer Siegel Collection in our Religious Art Gallery.
Your TruthBook Team