Verse 1, Jesus went over. Went to the east side of the sea. The place to which he went was Bethsaida, Lu 9:10.
The account of this miracle of feeding the five thousand is recorded also in Matthew 14:13-21; Mark 6:32-44; Lu 9:10-17. John has added a few circumstances omitted by the other evangelists.
Verse 6 To prove him. To try him; to see if he had faith, or if he would show that he believed that Jesus had power to supply them.
Verse 12. Gather up the fragments. This command is omitted by the other gospels. It shows the care of Jesus that there should be no waste.
Though he had power to provide any quantity of God, yet he has here taught us that the blessings of God are not to be squandered.
In all things Jesus set us an example of frugality, though he had an infinite supply at his disposal; he was himself economical, though he was Lord of all.
If he was that, it behooves us dependent creatures not to waste the supplies of a gracious God. And it especially becomes the rich not to squander the blessings of He supplies.
They often feel that they are rich. They have enough. They have no fear of want, and they do not feel the necessity of being careful. ‘Yet let them remember that what they have is the gift of God–just as certainly as the loaves and fishes created by the Saviour were his gift.’
It is not given them to waste, nor to spend in waste; but it is given to sustain life, to excite gratitude, to make fit for the active service of God.
Everything should be applied to its appropriate end, and nothing should be squandered or lost.