“Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?” (John 6:5) “Have the people sit down.” (John 6:10) “Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted.” (John 6:12)

These verses were spoken by Jesus to his students as they were approached by a large crowd who were hungry. They only had five loaves of barley bread and two small fish to feed the people. What did they do?
Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted. (John 6:11)
When they passed out the food, it gradually became obvious that somehow, there was enough food to feed everyone. And after everyone had eaten, they still had twelve baskets of bread left over.

This is considered one of Jesus’ more miraculous acts. Yet it was not Jesus' act, it was God's. For those who do not have faith in God, the miracle is indeed miraculous. Why would God bother making sure the people were all fed? The intention, as Jesus states elsewhere, was to increase their understanding that God cared about them, and that Jesus was God's representative.
 
Notice above that 'he gave thanks.' What is 'giving thanks' anyway? The Greek word used is εὐχαριστέω (eucharisteō), which refers to "giving thanks." Notice here the key word "giving". It was not simply "thanking," but a ceremonial "giving" of something.

Other translations of the original words interpret the original texts as 'blessed' as in Jesus 'blessed the food.' So what is actually taking place during this 'blessing'?

Many have interpreted this to mean that Jesus simply thanked God for the food, as many ecclesiastical sectarian teachers teach. This is because they do not understand the confidential loving relationship that Jesus had with God.

Since we know that Jesus performed an act that ultimately blessed the food, and we know that Jesus' focus was to love and serve God in the spirit of Moses, we must accept that Jesus was doing something that had been described throughout the Old Testament: Jesus was  making an offering ("giving") to God with a heartfelt prayer ("thanks").

This process is explained in detail in Deuteronomy, as God has established a method for us to establish a relationship with Him by offering our food to Him before consuming it:

In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the LORD. (Genesis 4:2-4)
Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and placed it on his son Isaac, and he himself carried the fire and the knife. As the two of them went on together. (Genesis 22:5-7)
Jacob set up a stone pillar at the place where God had talked with him, and he poured out a drink offering on it; he also poured oil on it. (Genesis 35:13-15)
" 'If you bring a grain offering of firstfruits to the LORD, offer crushed heads of new grain roasted in the fire.'" (Leviticus 2:13-15)
But Moses said, "You must allow us to have sacrifices and burnt offerings to present to the LORD our God." (Exodus 10:24-26)
Then Jethro, Moses' father-in-law, brought a burnt offering and other sacrifices to God, and Aaron came with all the elders of Israel to eat bread with Moses' father-in-law in the presence of God. (Exodus 18:11-13)
"Tell the Israelites to bring Me an offering. You are to receive the offering for Me from each man whose heart prompts him to give." (Exodus 25:1-3)
These are the offerings you are to receive from them: gold, silver and bronze; (Exodus 25:2-4)
And make its plates and dishes of pure gold, as well as its pitchers and bowls for the pouring out of offerings. (Exodus 25:28-30)
"For the generations to come this burnt offering is to be made regularly at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting before the LORD. There I will meet you and speak to you; (Exodus 29:41-43)
Do not offer on this altar any other incense or any burnt offering or grain offering, and do not pour a drink offering on it. (Exodus 30:8-10)
Each one who crosses over to those already counted is to give a half shekel, according to the sanctuary shekel, which weighs twenty gerahs. This half shekel is an offering to the LORD. (Exodus 30:12-14)
All who cross over, those twenty years old or more, are to give an offering to the LORD. (Exodus 30:13-15)
Those presenting an offering of silver or bronze brought it as an offering to the LORD, and everyone who had acacia wood for any part of the work brought it. (Exodus 35:23-25)
All the Israelite men and women who were willing brought to the LORD freewill offerings for all the work the LORD through Moses had commanded them to do. (Exodus 35:28-30)
The bronze from the wave offering was 70 talents and 2,400 shekels. (Exodus 38:28-30)
If your grain offering is cooked in a pan, it is to be made of fine flour and oil. (Leviticus 2:6-8)
Season all your grain offerings with salt. Do not leave the salt of the covenant of your God out of your grain offerings; add salt to all your offerings. (Leviticus 2:12-14)
Put oil and incense on it; it is a grain offering. (Leviticus 2:14-16)
The priest shall burn the memorial portion of the crushed grain and the oil, together with all the incense, as an offering made to the LORD by fire. (Leviticus 2:15-16)
"Over the table of the Presence they are to spread a blue cloth and put on it the plates, dishes and bowls, and the jars for drink offerings; the bread that is continually there is to remain on it." (Numbers 4:6-8)
"Eleazar son of Aaron, the priest, is to have charge of the oil for the light, the fragrant incense, the regular grain offering and the anointing oil. He is to be in charge of the entire tabernacle and everything in it, including its holy furnishings and articles." (Numbers 4:15-17)
Prepare these in addition to the regular morning burnt offering. (Numbers 28:22-24)
" 'In addition to what you vow and your freewill offerings, prepare these for the LORD at your appointed feasts: your burnt offerings, grain offerings, drink offerings and fellowship offerings. ' " (Numbers 29:38-40)
"So we have brought as an offering to the LORD the gold articles each of us acquired—armlets, bracelets, signet rings, earrings and necklaces—to make atonement for ourselves before the LORD." (Numbers 31:49-51)
Then the Israelites, all the people, went up to Bethel, and there they sat weeping before the LORD. They fasted that day until evening and presented burnt offerings and fellowship offerings to the LORD. (Judges 20:25-27)
The king went to Gibeon to offer sacrifices, for that was the most important high place, and Solomon offered a thousand burnt offerings on that altar. (1 Kings 3:3-5)
David built an altar to the LORD there and sacrificed burnt offerings and fellowship offerings. Then the LORD answered prayer in behalf of the land, and the plague on Israel was stopped. (2 Samuel 24:24-25)
On the fifteenth day of the eighth month, a month of his own choosing, he offered sacrifices on the altar he had built at Bethel. So he instituted the festival for the Israelites and went up to the altar to make offerings. (1 Kings 12:32-33)
 "He who sacrifices thank offerings honors Me, and he prepares the way so that I may show him the salvation of God." (Psalm 50:22-23)
I will sacrifice a freewill offering to You; I will praise Your Name, O LORD, for it is good. (Psalm 54:5-7)
Ascribe to the LORD the glory due His Name; bring an offering and come into His courts. (Psalm 96:7-9)
When the king came back from Damascus and saw the altar, he approached it and presented offerings on it. (2 Kings 16:11-13)
A Levite named Mattithiah, the firstborn son of Shallum the Korahite, was entrusted with the responsibility for baking the offering bread. (1 Chronicles 9:30-32)
Ascribe to the LORD the glory due His Name. Bring an offering and come before Him; worship the LORD in the splendor of His Holiness. (1 Chronicles 16:28-30)
They were in charge of the bread set out on the table, the flour for the grain offerings, the unleavened wafers, the baking and the mixing, and all measurements of quantity and size. (1 Chronicles 23:28-30)
" 'This is the special gift you are to offer: a sixth of an ephah from each homer of wheat and a sixth of an ephah from each homer of barley. (Ezekiel 45:12-14)
Who knows? He may turn and have pity and leave behind a blessing— grain offerings and drink offerings for the LORD your God. (Joel 2:13-15)
But even if I am being poured out like a drink offering on the sacrifice and service coming from your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you. (Philippians 2:16-18)
I have received full payment and even more; I am amply supplied, now that I have received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent. They are a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God. (Philippians 4:17-19)
These are but a few of the descriptions among the Bible that present the importance of offering to the Supreme Being. We can see that making offerings to God was practiced by Abraham, Jacob, Moses, Joshua, David and the other loving servants of God prior to Jesus, as well among Jesus' disciples, after Jesus. So are we to think that Jesus did not also partake in this practice? Certainly he also partook in this practice, as he was accepted by his students and disciples as a rabbi.

Jesus specifically instructed his students to make offerings:
“Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift." (Matt. 5:23-24)
“See that you don’t tell this to anyone. But go, show yourself to the priest and offer the sacrifices that Moses commanded for your cleansing, as a testimony to them.” (Mark 1:44)
And this was precisely why Jesus said about the food he had just offered to the Supreme Being at the 'last supper:'
And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.” (Luke 22:19)
Jesus wanted his disciples to remember him by his offerings to the Supreme Being.

Why have ecclesiastical sectarian teachers ignored this tradition? Why do they not make offerings to God? Rather, for over 1,000 years, the Roman Catholic church - propped up by the Roman government starting with Constantine - controlled the worship of God in the church. They would not even allow the parishioners to read scripture. The Church printed only Latin Bibles, and banned any Bibles written in any other language. And when John Wycliff translated the Bible into English for the first time in the 1380s to allow non-Catholic priests the ability to read scripture directly, he was burned at the stake.

And so was John Hus, who also promoted the concept that people should be able to read scripture. In the next century, William Tynsdale also translated the Bible into English, and had it printed on early printing presses. He was also burned at the stake by thugs from the Roman Catholic Church.

Does this sound like an organization that wanted to save people and preserve the teachings of scripture? No. They simply wanted to control people. They wanted to make sure that their authority was not undermined. This was a political organization that tortured and murdered people.

Furthermore, the Church ceremonies for over a thousand years consisted primarily of a priest speaking versus of Latin - which the common people did not understand. They passed out little crackers and sips of wine and spoke Latin, made cross gestures, and that was the ceremony. The concept of offering to God was completely abandoned, and replaced with a ceremony worshiping the murder of God's loving servant, Jesus.

Thus for over a thousand years, the Catholic Church controlled ceremonial worship among Christians (until the 1500s), and made sure that the people had no access to scripture so we couldn't see the teachings of the prophets, and understand that God wants us to establish a loving relationship with Him by making "fellowship offerings" (see above).

Just consider the word "fellowship" as in "fellowship offering" in the verses above. What does "fellowship" mean? Were they talking about fellowship between the congregation parishioners? No, because this was in context with a type of offering. A "fellowship" offering means an offering to God that is made with love. It is like when a man offers flowers to his wife: He is expressing his love. He doesn't have to make the offering of flowers. But he does it because he cares about her.

This is what the Supreme Being wants from us: He wants our love. He doesn't care about getting a bunch of gold or bread or grain - He owns all this stuff anyway. Rather, He wants us to reach out to Him and establish a relationship with Him. He wants to exchange a loving relationship with us, and He knows that when we exchange a loving relationship with Him, we will be fulfilled.

Why else would God have created us? Would God just create living beings so He could watch them suffer? No, God created us to exchange love with Him. And love requires freedom (we can't be forced to love, in other words). So God gives us the choice to love Him or not, and why he also called the "fellowship" offerings "freewill" offerings.

Consider God's instruction above to the priests: "You are to receive the offering for Me from each man whose heart prompts him to give." 

For those of us who desire to love Him, He shows us how to develop that love for Him. And what is the first step? It is making offerings to Him, and praising His Holy Name.

And why do today's ecclesiastical sectarian institutions teach their followers to "give thanks" instead of make offerings to God?

It is because ecclesiastical sectarians are focused on their own salvation rather than developing a personal relationship with God. While it is not wrong to thank God - they want to see God as their servant - giving them food, salvation and so on - but they do not want to be God's servant.

After all, what kind of relationship is simply composed of one person taking from the other all the time, and never giving anything back? We call that a one-sided relationship. A relationship of all take and no give.

A person who loves another, will naturally want to serve the one they love. They will want to give and not just receive.

When a person offers something to God - especially food before it is eaten - there is an inherent sacrifice and an exchange of a relationship. By offering something to God, we are first saying that we will sacrifice our own desire for that food - at least for a minute - and offer it to the Supreme Being - our Best Friend - first.

Is this not what is polite in any relationship? To offer something first to someone we care about? Offering our food to the Supreme Being before eating it is an activity that will help us re-develop our relationship with Him. Simply thanking Him may be nice, but making an offering to God with love and devotion, and then thanking Him, is even better.


(See the Devotional Translation of the Gospel of John Chapter Six - translated from the original Greek texts without ecclesiastical sectarian influence.)