by Lisa Day

Download a printable PDF of the Word One Bible Study for Pentecost (9A Gospel).

Text: Matthew 14:13-21 for the 9th Sunday after Pentecost, Lectionary Series A


Participants will:

  1. Identify ways that Jesus meets the needs of the people who followed Him during His earthly ministry.
  2. Identify needs of people in our church/community and develop ways that we can assist in meeting at least one of those needs.

Materials Needed

Copies of this study
Newsprint (or write on board)

Group Guidelines

Break into groups of 4-6. The leader is the one who had the most sleep the previous night.

Building Community

Have each person in the group discuss:

  1. What is your most enjoyable meal?
  2. If your group had to plan a meal for 5,000 (or more) people, what would you serve?

Looking at God’s Word

Read Matthew 14:13-21.

  1. Jesus “withdraws by boat privately to a solitary place” (verse 13). Why?
  2. Why do you think the crowds followed Jesus (verses 13-14)?
    1. to see another miracle
    2. to hear Him speak
    3. to catch Him doing something wrong
    4. everybody else was doing it
    5. other suggestions
  3. What are the needs of the people in the crowd? (Note especially verses 14, 16, and 19)
  4. Think as though you were one of the disciples.
    1. What did you want to do when you noticed the needs of the people?
    2. What was going through your mind as Jesus said, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.”
    3. What were you thinking as you went through the crowd passing out the food and then collecting the leftovers?
  5. Now think with the mind of Jesus.
    1. What did you want to do for the needs of the people?
    2. What were you thinking as you said, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat”?
  6. What does this story tell us about the identity of Jesus? What does it tell us about why He was here on Earth in human form?

Reinforcing What Has Been Learned

  1. What can you learn from this story about Jesus and how He is also working to help you with your needs?
  2. What does it mean to be a disciple of Jesus?
  3. How do you react when you come upon a great need in your church/community?
  4. Develop a brainstorm list of various needs the people in your church/community have.
  5. If you could pool the resources of your group (either your small group or your whole group) to help meet at least one of these needs, what would your personal input be?
  6. As a group, begin to develop a plan of action to work on one or more of the needs listed on your brainstorming list


Close with prayer: Thank You, Lord, for all You have done to help us in our times of need. Help us to see what we can do to help others in their time of need and bless our plans and efforts as we continue to live for you. Amen.