|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
6:30-44 Let not ministers do any thing or teach any thing, but what they are willing should be told to their Lord. Christ notices the frights of some, and the toils of others of his disciples, and provides rest for those that are tired, and refuge for those that are terrified. The people sought the spiritual food of Christ's word, and then he took care that they should not want bodily food. If Christ and his disciples put up with mean things, surely we may. And this miracle shows that Christ came into the world, not only to restore, but to preserve and nourish spiritual life; in him there is enough for all that come. None are sent empty away from Christ but those who come to him full of themselves. Though Christ had bread enough at command, he teaches us not to waste any of God's bounties, remembering how many are in want. We may, some time, need the fragments that we now throw away.
Verses 42, 43. - They did all eat, and were filled (ἐχορτάσθησαν). It might be rendered, were fulfilled, according to the old meaning of "fulfill." It is probable that the women and children were a considerable number; for they would be, if possible, even more eager then the men to see the great Prophet. When all had eaten and were satisfied, they took up broken pieces, twelve basketfuls, and also of the fishes. St. John tells us that this was done by the express command of Christ (John 6:12); and the existence of these fragments, far more in quantity than the original supply, was a striking testimony to the reality of the miracle, and that there was enough and more than enough for all. It does not become us to pry too curiously into the method of our Lord's working; but the number of these baskets (κοφίνους), namely, twelve, seems to suggest that he first broke the loaves, and in breaking multiplied them, and distributed them into these baskets, one for each apostle, and that the food, as it was distributed by the disciples, was more and more multiplied, as needed, so that at length they brought back to Christ as many basketfuls of fragments as they had first received from him, and much more than the original supply. It is obvious here to remark that by this stupendous miracle our Lord showed himself to be the true Bread of life, by which the spiritual wants of all hungering souls may be supplied. "For," says St. Augustine," he was the Word of God, and all the acts of the Word are themselves words for us. They are not as pictures, merely, to look at and admire; but as letters which we must seek to read and understand."
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And they did all eat, and were filled. See Gill on Matthew 14:20.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
42. And they did all eat, and were filled—All the four Evangelists mention this: and John (Joh 6:11) adds, "and likewise of the fishes, as much as they would"—to show that vast as was the multitude, and scanty the provisions, the meal to each and all of them was a plentiful one. "When they were filled, He said unto His disciples, Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost" (Joh 6:12). This was designed to bring out the whole extent of the miracle.
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