Matthew 14; Mark 6; John 5–6

Matthew CHAPTER 14 John the Baptist is beheaded—Jesus feeds the five thousand and walks on the sea—Those who touch the hem of His garment are made whole.

Mark CHAPTER 6 Jesus sends forth the Twelve—John the Baptist is beheaded by Herod—Our Lord feeds the five thousand, walks on the water, and heals multitudes.

John CHAPTER 5 Jesus heals an invalid on the Sabbath—He explains why men must honor the Son—Jesus promises to take the gospel to the dead—Man is resurrected, judged, and assigned his glory by the Son—Jesus obeys the divine law of witnesses.

John CHAPTER 6 Jesus feeds the five thousand—He walks on the sea—He is the living manna sent from God—Salvation is gained by eating living bread—Jesus explains how men eat His flesh and drink His blood—Peter testifies that Jesus is the Messiah.

Jesus Christ knows what I need and can help me.

John 5:1–9

Come, Follow Me—For Primary: New Testament 2023 “Matthew 14; Mark 6; John 5–6” Ponder the account of Jesus healing the man at the pool of Bethesda. How can you help the children see what the story teaches about Jesus’s kindness, love, and other attributes?

Use the picture Christ Healing the Sick at Bethesda (Gospel Art Book, no. 42) to tell the children the story in John 5:1–9. Or show the video “Jesus Heals a Man on the Sabbath” (ChurchofJesusChrist.org). Ask the children to imagine that they are the person Jesus healed. How would they feel when Jesus healed them?

Ask the children to name some things that are hard for them or that make them sad. Tell them about a time in your life when you received help from the Savior during a difficult trial. Testify that Jesus knows about all our problems and wants to help us.

Friend August 2017 “Ralphie’s Amazing Find” A boy is upset that his best friend is moving. He takes his dog for a walk, and his dog discovers a beautiful waterfall. The boy feels God’s love for him.

Jesus Christ teaches me about Heavenly Father.

John 5:17–47

Come, Follow Me—For Primary: New Testament 2023 “Matthew 14; Mark 6; John 5–6” How can Jesus’s teachings about His Father help the children learn about Heavenly Father?

Create two sets of matching cards labeled with words that Jesus used to teach about Heavenly Father in John 5, such as lovelife, and works (see John 5:20, 26, 36). Lay the cards face down, and ask the children to look for matches by flipping over two cards at a time. As each match is made, read the verse that contains the word, and ask the children what the word teaches us about Heavenly Father.

Ask the children to read John 5:30 and complete this sentence: “I seek not mine own will, but …” How did Jesus Christ do the will of His Heavenly Father? How can we do Heavenly Father’s will?

John 5: 23 That all men should ahonour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that bhonoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him.

Friend May 2022 “Why Do We Choose to Be Obedient?”

I follow Jesus’s example when I am kind to others.

Matthew 14:13–21

Come, Follow Me—For Primary: New Testament 2023 “Matthew 14; Mark 6; John 5–6” One way Jesus showed love was to feed His followers when they were hungry. How can you help the children learn to serve others like Jesus did?

Show the children a basket and some bread as you tell the story in Matthew 14:13–21. Explain that even though Jesus had tried to find a place to be alone, the people wanted to be near Him. Share the rest of the story with the children, and ask them to listen for what Jesus did to show kindness and love for the people.

Friend July 2017 “Jesus Fed Many People”

New Testament Scripture Stories “Chapter 28: Jesus Feeds 5,000 People” Images and Video

Ask the children to share ways in which someone has been kind to them. Then help them think of things they can do this week to be kind to others. For every answer they give, draw a loaf of bread or a fish on the board. Tell the children that when they do these things, they are following the example Jesus set when He fed the five thousand people who were hungry.

Friend March 2023 “Come, Follow Me Activities for Little Ones” Prepare a healthy snack for your little ones. Tell about the miracle of the loaves and the fishes (see Matthew 14:15–21). Help them say, “Jesus knows what I need and can help me.”

Friend July 2021 “Jesus Shared with Others” Story of Jesus sharing fish and bread with his disciples.

New Testament Seminary Student Manual (2023) After Jesus Christ learned that John the Baptist had been beheaded, He traveled with His Apostles to a solitary place. They were followed by a multitude. Even though He was suffering, the Savior had compassion on the crowd and taught and fed the people—5,000 men plus women and children. This lesson can help you be more compassionate and selfless like Jesus Christ.

We can follow the example of Jesus Christ by showing compassion and serving others even while we are experiencing our own difficulties.Note that a “desert place” ( verse 13) is a solitary place, and “victuals” ( verse 15) means “food.”

My small offerings can make a difference.

John 6:5–14

Come, Follow Me—For Primary: New Testament 2023 “Matthew 14; Mark 6; John 5–6” It was a young boy who provided the bread and fish that Jesus used to feed the five thousand. How can you help the children you teach see how they can contribute to the work of the Lord?

Help the children imagine how large a crowd of five thousand people would be. What would it be like to feed that many people with only five loaves of bread and two fish?

New Testament Student Manual  The Greek text of Mark 6:44 makes clear that the phrase “five thousand men” meant five thousand malesMatthew 14:21 makes this unmistakable by adding the statement “beside women and children.”

Friend March 2023 “Come, Follow Me Activities: More Than Enough”

Story: Once Jesus Christ spent all day teaching people. Everyone was hungry. But they only had five loaves of bread and two fish. Jesus blessed the bread and fish, and the disciples shared it with the people. There was enough food for more than 5,000 people! (See Matthew 14:15–21).

Song: “I’m Trying to Be like Jesus” (Children’s Songbook, 78–79)

Activity: Make your favorite bread recipe, or try the one on page 8. Notice how something as small as yeast makes the whole loaf of bread bigger. How has Jesus made your small efforts big?

Invite a child to tell the story of the feeding of the five thousand in his or her own words. Emphasize that it was a young boy who provided the bread and fish that the Lord used to perform this miracle. How can we be like the boy described in John 6:9? Invite the children to draw loaves and fish on paper and write on them some things they can give to the Lord to help in His work.

New Testament Seminary Student Manual (2023) Because of Jesus Christ your humble offerings will be enough. When we offer the Savior all that we have, He can multiply our efforts to accomplish His purposes.

Have you ever felt your talents and gifts were too small for the task ahead? I have. But you and I can give what we have to Christ, and He will multiply our efforts. What you have to offer is more than enough—even with your human frailties and weaknesses—if you rely on the grace of God.

(Michelle D. Craig, “Divine Discontent,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2018, 54)

What are different ways we can “give what we have to Christ”?

Friend January 2023 “Helping with Heavenly Father’s Work” Heavenly Father’s work is to help all His children to come back and live with Him (see Moses 1:39). You can help as you do four things: live, care, invite, and unite. (See lesson at link.)

Giving Talks, Singing, Playing Instruments, Help Clean the Church

Friend February 2015 “Juliana Gives a Talk” Juliana is scared to give a talk, but Heavenly Father helps her.

Friend June 2018 “A Baptism Song” Elizabeth and her sister sang at a baptism which helped those attending to feel the Spirit.

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Friend December 2018 “Ellie Helps Clean the Church” Ellie’s family goes to clean the church and she wonders how she can help. Also includes a matching activity:

Match each sentence with a picture. In the blank spot, draw yourself helping at church.

  • I can put away a hymnbook.
  • I can pick up trash I see.
  • I can help hold up a picture.
  • I can sit so reverently!

Give the children a small puzzle to complete. What would happen if one of the pieces of the puzzle were missing? Explain that we are each like a puzzle piece—we are all important, and we all need each other. Help the children name reasons they are important in their families, their Primary class, God’s family, and other groups.

Additional Resources:

“The Bread of Life” (February 1995 Friend)
An article about the importance of bread in ancient times.

New Testament Scripture Stories “The Bread of Life” Videos and Images

New Testament Seminary Student Manual (2023) “John 6:22–58” Lesson ideas about Jesus being the bread of life.

Faith in Jesus Christ can help me not be afraid.

Matthew 14:22–33

Come, Follow Me—For Primary: New Testament 2023 “Matthew 14; Mark 6; John 5–6” Peter showed great faith when he walked on the water toward Jesus. What lessons might there be for the children in this story?

New Testament Stories “Jesus Walks on the Water” Video and images

Show the picture in this week’s outline in Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families (see also Gospel Art Book, no. 43) as you tell the story from Matthew 14:22–33 in your own words. Consider using this week’s activity page to help the children tell the story back to you. You could also bring a small bowl of water and invite the children to pretend to “walk” their fingers across the surface of the water.

Friend October 2009 “Jesus Walks on the Water” Rebus

Show the video “Wherefore Didst Thou Doubt?” (ChurchofJesusChrist.org), and ask the children why Peter was afraid. Then ask them to tell about times when they felt afraid and share what helped them. Help them see that faith in Jesus Christ helps us overcome fear.

Friend October 2019 “Coloring Page: Jesus Can Help Me Do Hard Things”

Friend April 2013 “Coloring Page”

New Testament Coloring Book “Jesus Walked on Water”

Faith in Jesus Christ can help me not be afraid.

Matthew 14:22–33

Come, Follow Me—For Primary: New Testament 2023 “Matthew 14; Mark 6; John 5–6” Faith and fear play prominent roles in the story of Jesus and Peter walking on the sea. What can children learn from this story?

Show the picture in this week’s outline in Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families (see also Gospel Art Book, no. 43). Ask the children to find phrases in Matthew 14:22–33 that describe the picture.

Ask the children to look for signs of faith and signs of fear as they read Matthew 14:22–33. You could also show the video “Wherefore Didst Thou Doubt?” (ChurchofJesusChrist.org). What does it mean to have faith in Jesus Christ? Help the children think of times when their faith helped them overcome fear.

Ask the children to imagine they were present and had a camera when Jesus and Peter walked on the sea. Which moment would they choose to photograph and why? Suggest that they search Matthew 14:22–33 for ideas. Invite them to draw a picture of the moment they chose, share their pictures, and explain why they chose that moment.

New Testament Seminary Student Manual (2023) “John 6:22–58”Peter’s example teaches us what we should focus on. Remember what happened to Peter when he focused on Jesus Christ and what happened when he shifted his focus to the storm around him (see verses 28–31).

Latter Day Kids “Look to Christ in Faith” Lesson ideas

Additional Resources

Come Follow Me with Living Scriptures “The Bread of Life” Lesson ideas

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