Philip answered him, “Two hundred denarii of breads would not satisfy them, in order that each one may receive a little.” One of his disciples, Andrew the brother of Simon Peter, stated to him, “Here is a boy who has five barley breads and two fish, but what are these among so many?”
“Two hundred denarii” would be roughly £15,000 today. A denarius was at that time a day's work for a labourer. A boy’s packed lunch box is available.
Jesus said, “Make the people recline.” (In fact, there was much grass in the place.) So the men reclined, about five thousand in number. So Jesus received the breads and, thankful, gave to the recumbent—likewise also from the fish, whatsoever they wanted.
“The men”? Clearly, Israel in AD 30 was a male dominated society. But, to be fed, these males were instructed to “recline” (twice). Indeed, it was only when they were “recumbent” – totally inactive recipients – that they were given “whatsoever they wanted”.
In fact when they were satisfied, he stated to his disciples, “Gather the remaining broken pieces in order that not one thing may self-destroy.” So they gathered and filled twelve baskets full with broken pieces from the five barley breads which remained from those who were fed.
Having fully “satisfied” the hunger of the “large crowd”, Jesus is anxious to make it abundantly clear that there is plenty more available for others. For “the weakening”? Twelve baskets of breads. One basket for each of the twelve disciples to give to others? All from Jesus.
So the people having seen the sign that he did were stating, “This one is truly the Prophet who is coming into the world!”