Resources for Christian Education

Free Workshop Rotation Model Lessons - Season 3

Children’s Sermon

Matthew 14:13-21

Feeding Of The 5000

August 2, 2020

Ninth Sunday after Pentecost

Lectionary Year A

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ASK    (a.k.a The On-Ramp)

  • Good morning!
  • I want to tell you a story where I made a mistake and a friend helped me figure out what I did wrong.
  • After I tell the story to you, I’ll ask you if you can figure out my mistake.
  • So, a little bit ago, I went to buy some more tissues. Now, the ones I usually buy were sold out and the person in the store said the only ones they had left were these kind [hold up the pack of pocket tissues]
  • Now, I was a little confused at first. I was thinking it was strange to just sell one thick tissue.
  • And then I was even more confused when I felt it - it felt more like plastic than tissue, but I went ahead and bought it.
  • Later, I was even MORE confused when I spilled some water and in trying to use this tissue to clean it up [mime trying to soak up the water by using the tissue packet like a sponge], no water was soaked up whatsoever! What kind of tissue is that!?
  • I had no idea what was going on until a friend told me my mistake. So, what do you think my mistake was? [Wait for responses]
  • Exactly! I didn’t realize that there was a package around the tissues. All I had to do was unwrap the tissues [open the package and start pulling each tissue out]
  • Can you imagine my surprise when I realized my mistake!? I was like, “Oh my! Look at how many tissues there are! This explains a lot!!!”

TELL    (a.k.a. The Freeway)

  • I share this story with you because I think it will help us think about today's scripture story
  • In the story, we hear that a large crowd has followed Jesus and that Jesus spent the day with them, healing and teaching them.
  • But then, when it's getting to be dinner time, instead of sending the people away for dinner, Jesus tells his disciples to feed the crowd.
  • The disciples looked at the food that they had (five loaves of bread and two fish) and must’ve been as confused as I was about the tissues. There just wasn’t enough!
  • So that’s what they told Jesus. They told him, "There's not enough nearly food to feed them!"
  • But Jesus says to them, "There is enough food, here. You just have to ask God to help you unwrap the food you have."
  • (That’s not quite what he said, by the way, but it’s pretty close!)
  • Jesus then shows them how to "unwrap" the food they had.
  • Jesus does this by taking the food and then praying for God's direction (that’s the part where the story says "Jesus blessed" the food)
  • Then, with God's direction, Jesus knows how to "unwrap" (the story says "break") the food so that there's plenty of food to give.
  • In fact, there was so much food after Jesus unwrapped it with God's help, that there were baskets and baskets of food left over.
  • Just like I didn’t know how to unwrap the tissues, the disciples didn’t know how to unwrap the food they had.
  • But Jesus knew, with God’s help, it could be unwrapped. So Jesus showed the disciples how to ask for God’s help to do it.

SHARE the Good News   (a.k.a. The Destination)

  • The great thing about this story is that receiving God's help with unwrapping things doesn't just have to be about food (or tissues for that matter!).
  • There are other things in life where it will seem like there just isn't enough of a thing, be it time or things or energy or attention.
  • And, in those times, when we feel like we don't have enough, we can do like Jesus showed his disciples in today's story.
  • We can take what we have, we can ask for God's help and direction with what we have, we can then listen for and act on God's directions.
  • In that acting on God’s directions, we will be able to better unwrap, use, and share what we have – which will be good for us and for those around us.
  • And that is the good news for today. Let’s pray.


  • This is a repeat-after-me prayer.

Dear God,
Dear God,

Thank you for Jesus…

Thank you for Jesus…

…who shows us how…

…who shows us how…

…you help us unwrap things…

…you help us unwrap things…

…for both ourselves and others…

…for both ourselves and others…

Help us to do what Jesus shows us.

Help us to do what Jesus shows us.


Originally posted July 30, 2017
Updated on July 6, 2020

Written and edited by Nathanael Vissia

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Supplies: A pack of those “pocket pack” tissues (like these) with it’s plastic case unopened.

Related message(s): Lectionary B: No Problem Is Too Big For God (John 6:1-21)