Feeding of the five thousand (John 6:1-15)
In the Gospels, there are two separate miracle accounts of feeding the multitude. The first account, "Feeding of the 5,000", is recorded in all four gospels (Matthew 14:13-21; Mark 6:31-44; Luke 9:12-17; John 6:1-15). The second account, the "Feeding of the 4,000", with seven loaves of bread and fish, is reported by Matthew 15:32-39 and Mark 8:1-9, but not by Luke or John.
John's account is especially focused about putting this event into relation with signs (σημεῖον [sémeion]) of Jesus that are an important thematic device in the Gospel of John (John 6:14a) and link it with the popular expectation of the Prophet, an allusion to the prediction of Deuteronomy 18:15 (John 6:14b). In this way, the narrative is preparing a rationale for the following story of "the Bread of Life" where Jesus fully explain the magnitude and significance of this miracle.
The effect of the miracle sign is that people are seeking Jesus on the other side (John 6:24-25). This is one part of the desired behaviour by Jesus. However, as the story unveils, the crowd does not follow Jesus here because of the fulfillment of Israel's messianic hope, but because of the pragmatical means (John 6:26). Therefore, the second part of the behaviour is to believe in Jesus, which will later appear as a problematic requirement (John 6:29).
All of this is further highlighted by the occasion that the Passover festival is near. Such timing and other allusions to OT ( manna, Prophet-Moses) frame the story into typology of the second Exodus.
|πέραν||on the other side|
|θάλασσα, ης, ἡ||lake; sea|
|Γαλιλαία, ας, ἡ||Galilee|
|Τιβεριάς, άδος, ἡ||Tiberias|
|ἐπί||on (with G, D, A); on the account of (with D); against (with A)|
|ἀσθενέω||be sick, be weak|