And that is exactly what is in the minds of many of the people present. Jesus is aware of their thoughts and plans, plans to seize Him and make Him their king, to rally behind Him to wrench Israel back from the despised and feared Romans. He will have no part in it. He acts swiftly and decisively. “Peter, I want you and the others to leave for Capernaum by boat now. I will join you later. I need to take some time by Myself to pray.” “But, Lord, someone should stay with You to stand watch at least! Don’t send us away now. There are dangers here, from the Romans, from the Herodians, and from the Temple officials. Didn’t You see those 2 Romans watching from the hills over there?” Peter is afraid, for himself, for his fellows, for his Lord. But Jesus insists. “I will be fine. Nothing can happen to Me apart from My Father’s will. Now, go, swiftly.” Apart from His need for solitary prayer tonight, Jesus doesn’t want His apostles caught up in any plots to make Him king. His apostles reluctantly head toward the fishing boat. Jesus again holds up His hands for silence among the crowd. “My friends, it is getting late. I need to spend some time in prayer. Please, go to your homes. There is no need for you to stay any longer.” With that, He turns and walks toward the mountain. Hearing the unspoken message that Jesus will not let them make Him their king, the people slowly stand to begin their journey home. With a crowd this large, they have little fear of bandits, but there is some reticence. They had hoped…but they should know better. Hope is for people who do not live under the rule of Rome and Herod Antipas.
Matthew 14:22, Mark 6:45-46, John 6:15-17a