When Jesus heard that John the Baptist had been murdered; he withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place. The crowds followed him on foot from the towns. When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick. As evening approached, the disciples came to him and said,
This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. Send the crowds away, so they can go to the villages and buy themselves some food.
They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.
DISCIPLE picks up the small basket
We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish.
Bring them here to me.
DISCIPLE hands JESUS the basket.
Jesus directed the people to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves.
JESUS raises the basket and mimes offering thanks
Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people.
JESUS hands the basket back to DISCIPLE who then extends his/her hands offering it to the congregation. They both freeze for the remainder of the reading.
They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. The number of those who ate was about five thousand men, besides women and children.
Adapted from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION ®, NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.
Reader’s Theater: Feeding of the 5000 adaptation © 2013 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
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