In Mt 14:13-21 Jesus is informed of John the Baptist’s beheading. Not only was John Jesus’ cousin, but John was the one leading people to Jesus. Jesus had to have then known that his own time was coming to suffer and die.
So unsurprisingly he withdrew “to a deserted place by himself” to mourn John and pray.
But then what happens?
The people follow.
If it were me and I was trying to be alone I would not be very happy to see a large crowd gathered to meet me as I sought solitude. But lucky for all of us Jesus was so compassionate and cared for others above self.
What does Jesus do? He is “moved with pity for them” and “he cured their sick”. Following all of that he then performs the great miracle of the multiplication of the loaves and the fish and feeds them.
The phrase “Jesus loves you” is often tossed about. But do you really know how much Jesus loves you?
The whole Gospel is a beautiful love story. But if you ever need a reminder of His love turn to Matthew 14.
Chase Jesus to the deserted place. Wait for him to arrive. You are the one who is sick; watch how he heals you. You are the one that is hungry; watch how he feeds you. You are there with him; watch how he doesn’t send you away. Listen to him; hear him call you near to him. Jesus truly, deeply cares for you above all else; feel how his love for you overflows. With Jesus you won’t just be satisfied; you will be loved fully and completely with a never ending love.
When Jesus heard of the death of John the Baptist,
he withdrew in a boat to a deserted place by himself.
The crowds heard of this and followed him on foot from their towns.
When he disembarked and saw the vast crowd,
his heart was moved with pity for them, and he cured their sick.
When it was evening, the disciples approached him and said,
“This is a deserted place and it is already late;
dismiss the crowds so that they can go to the villages
and buy food for themselves.”
Jesus said to them, “There is no need for them to go away;
give them some food yourselves.”
But they said to him,
“Five loaves and two fish are all we have here.”
Then he said, “Bring them here to me,”
and he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass.
Taking the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven,
he said the blessing, broke the loaves,
and gave them to the disciples,
who in turn gave them to the crowds.
They all ate and were satisfied,
and they picked up the fragments left over—
twelve wicker baskets full.
Those who ate were about five thousand men,
not counting women and children.