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From Calvin's Commentaries  
The Gospel According to John (Volume XVII)
5. Jesus therefore, lifting up his eyes, and seeing that a great multitude came to him, saith to Philip, Whence shall we buy bread, that those men may eat? 6. (Now he said this, trying him; for he himself knew what he would do.) 7. Philip answered him, Two hundred denarii of bread is not sufficient for them, that each of them may take a little. 8. One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peterís brother, saith to him, 9. There is here a boy, who hath five barley loaves, and two small fishes; but what are these among so many? 10. And Jesus said, Make the men sit down. (Now there was much grass in that place.) The men therefore sat down, in number about five thousand. 11. And Jesus took the loaves, and, having given thanks, distributed them to the disciples, and the disciples to those who had sat down, and likewise of the fishes, as much as they wished. 12. And after they were satisfied, he said to his disciples, Gather the fragments which are left, that nothing may be lost. 13. They therefore gathered, and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five loaves which were left by those who had eaten.  

5. He saith to Philip. What we here read as having been said to Philip alone, the other Evangelists tell us, was said to all. But there is no inconsistency in this; for it is probable that Philip spoke according to the opinion entertained by all, and, therefore, Christ replies to him in particular; just as John, immediately afterwards, introduces Andrew as speaking, where the other Evangelists attribute the discourse to all alike. Perceiving that they have no conception of an extraordinary remedy, he then arouses their minds, which may be said to be asleep, so that they may, at least, have their eyes open to behold what shall be immediately exhibited to them. The design of all that is alleged by the disciples is, to persuade Christ not to detain the people; and, perhaps, in this respect they consult their private advantage, that a part of the inconvenience may not fall upon themselves. Accordingly, Christ disregards their objections, and proceeds in his design. 

7. Two hundred denarii. As the denarius, according to the computation of Budaeus, is equal to four times the value of a carolus and two deniers of Tours, this sum amounts to thirty-five francs, or thereby. If you divide this sum among five thousand men, each hundred of them will have less than seventeenpence sterling. If we now add about a thousand of women and children, it will be found that Philip allots to each person about the sixth part of an English penny, to buy a little bread. But, as usually happens in a great crowd, he probably thought that there was a greater number of people present; and as the disciples were poor and ill supplied with money, Andrew intended to alarm Christ by the greatness of the sum, meaning that they were not wealthy enough to entertain so many people. 

10. Make the men sit down. That the disciples were not sooner prepared to cherish the hope which their Master held out, and did not remember to ascribe to his power all that was proper, was a degree of stupidity worthy of blame; but no small praise is due to their cheerful obedience in now complying with his injunction, though they know not what is his intention, or what advantage they will derive from what they are doing. The same readiness to obey is manifested by the people; for, while they are uncertain about the result, they all sit down as soon as a single word of command has been pronounced. And this is the trial of true faith, when God commands men to walk, as it were, in darkness. For this purpose let us learn not to be wise in ourselves, but, amidst great confusion, still to hope for a prosperous issue, when we follow the guidance of God, who never disappoints his own people. 

11. After having given thanks. Christ has oftener than once instructed us by his example that, whenever we take food, we ought to begin with prayer. For those things which God has appointed for our use, being evidences of his infinite goodness and fatherly love towards us, call on us to offer praise to Him; and thanksgiving, as Paul informs us, is a kind of solemn sanctification, by means of which the use of them begins to be pure to us, (1 Timothy 4:4.) Hence it follows, that they who swallow them down without thinking of God, are guilty of sacrilege, and of profaning the gifts of God. And this instruction is the more worthy of attention, because we daily see a great part of the world feeding themselves like brute beasts. When Christ determined that the bread given to the disciples should grow among their hands, we are taught by it that God blesses our labor when we are serviceable to each other. 

Let us now sum up the meaning of the whole miracle. It has this in common with the other miracles, that Christ displayed in it his Divine power in union with beneficence, It is also a confirmation to us of that statement by which he exhorts us to seek the kingdom of God, promising that all other things shall be added to us, (Matthew 6:33.) For if he took care of those who were led to him only by a sudden impulse, how would he desert us, if we seek him with a firm and steady purpose? True, indeed, he will sometimes allow his own people, as I have said, to suffer hunger; but he will never deprive them of his aid; and, in the meantime, he has very good reasons for not assisting us till matters come to an extremity. 

Besides, Christ plainly showed that he not only bestows spiritual life on the world, but that his Father commanded him also to nourish the body. For abundance of all blessings is committed to his hand, that, as a channel, he may convey them to us; though I speak incorrectly by calling him a channel, for he is rather the living fountain flowing from the eternal Father. Accordingly, Paul prays that all blessings may come to us from God the Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ, in common, (1 Corinthians 1:3;) and, in another passage, he shows that 

in all things we ought to give thanks to God the Father, through our Lord Jesus Christ, (Ephesians 5:20.) 

And not only does this office belong to his eternal Divinity, but even in his human nature, and so far as he has taken upon him our flesh, the Father has appointed him to be the dispenser, that by his hands he may feed us. Now, though we do not every day see miracles before our eyes, yet not less bountifully does God display his power in feeding us. And indeed we do not read that, when he wished to give a supper to his people, he used any new means; and, therefore, it would be an inconsiderate prayer, if any one were to ask that meat and drink might be given to him by some unusual method. 

Again, Christ did not provide great delicacies for the people, but they who saw his amazing power displayed in that supper, were obliged to rest satisfied with barley-bread and fish without sauce. And though he does not now satisfy five thousand men with five loaves, still he does not cease to feed the whole world in a wonderful manner. It sounds to us, no doubt, like a paradox, that 

man liveth not by bread alone, but by the word which proceedeth out of the mouth of God, (Deuteronomy 8:3.) 

For we are so strongly attached to outward means, that nothing is more difficult than to depend on the providence of God. Hence it arises that we tremble so much, as soon as we have not bread at hand. And if we consider every thing aright, we shall be compelled to discern the blessing of God in all the creatures which serve for our bodily support; but use and frequency lead us to undervalue the miracles of nature. And yet, in this respect, it is not so much our stupidity as our malignity that hinders us; for where is the man to be found who does not choose to wander astray in his mind, and to encompass heaven and earth a hundred times, rather than look at God who presents himself to his view? 

13. And filled twelve baskets. When four thousand men were fed by seven loaves, Matthew relates that the number of baskets filled with fragments was exactly the same with the number of the loaves, (Matthew 15:37.) Since, therefore, a smaller quantity is sufficient for a greater number of men, and since the quantity left is nearly double, hence we see more clearly of what value is that blessing of God, against the sight of which we deliberately shut our eyes. We ought also to observe, in passing, that though Christ commands them to fill the baskets for illustrating the miracle, yet he likewise exhorts his disciples to frugality, when he says, Gather the fragments which are left, that nothing may be lost; for the increase of the bounty of God ought not to be an excitement to luxury. Let those, therefore, who have abundance, remember that they will one day render an account of their immoderate wealth, if they do not carefully and faithfully apply their superfluity to purposes which are good, and of which God approves. 

John 6:14 
14. Those men, therefore, when they saw the miracle which Jesus had performed, said, This is truly the Prophet who is to come into the world.  

14. Those men, therefore. The miracle appears to have been attended by some advantage, that they acknowledge the author of it to be the Messiah; for Christ had no other object in view. But immediately they apply to a different and improper purpose the knowledge which they have obtained concerning Christ. And it is a fault extremely common among men, to corrupt and pervert his truth by their falsehoods, as soon as he has revealed himself to them; and even when they appear to have entered into the right path, they immediately fall away.