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44 That day, 5,000 men ate their fill of the bread when Jesus fed the hungry crowd.

The disciples pull Jesus aside to point out the obvious: everyone needs to go and eat something.

But Jesus, as usual, isn’t about to be distracted by the obvious. His answer must irritate them even further: “Why don’t you give them something to eat?” Jesus is seeing a much bigger reality. He is deliberately creating a turning point in His ministry: He wants to make them a part of His miracles. From recorders and observers, they will become participants. And so the disciples, not Jesus, tell the people to sit down, pass out the food, and collect the leftovers after everyone has eaten until they are stuffed. The disciples must feel pretty sheepish as they experience how Jesus is making them a part of the miracle—despite their mundane concerns and their frustrations with Him.

45 Not long after, He sent His disciples out onto their boat to sail to Bethsaida on the other shore, and He sent the crowd away. 46 After everyone had gone, He slipped away to pray on a mountain overlooking the sea.

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