What Happened to the Two Fish?

I’m into the next section of John (John 6.1-15—The Feeding of the 5,000ish; the larger context being all of chapter 6).  John does something interesting here.  He at first points out that Jesus feeds the 5000ish people with 5 barley loaves and two fish:

“One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said to him, “There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish, but what are they for so many?”” (John 6:8–9, ESV)

However, when John sums up the miracle, he seems to forget all about the fish:

“So they gathered them up and filled twelve baskets with fragments from the five barley loaves left by those who had eaten.” (John 6:13, ESV)

Um…John, what happened to the fish?

John didn’t suddenly forget that there were two fish, he mentions only the barley loaves because of the context in which he writes about this miracle.  Look what is coming up next:

“Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.” (John 6:35, ESV) [This is another one of those super-outlandish statements that Christ makes in John that Christ seems compelled to make again and again].

John doesn’t include the fish, not because there were no fish fragments left, but because up next is Jesus as the bread of life, he wants to emphasize that, and so the five barley loaves take pride of place in the narrative.

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