Bring it to Jesus
When Jesus heard of it, he departed thence by ship into a desert place apart: and when the people had heard thereof, they followed him on foot out of the cities. And Jesus went forth, and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion toward them, and he healed their sick. And when it was evening, his disciples came to him, saying, This is a desert place, and the time is now past; send the multitude away, that they may go into the villages, and buy themselves victuals. But Jesus said unto them, They need not depart; give ye them to eat. And they say unto him, We have here but five loaves, and two fishes. He said, Bring them hither to me. And he commanded the multitude to sit down on the grass, and took the five loaves, and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, he blessed, and brake, and gave the loaves to his disciples, and the disciples to the multitude. And they did all eat, and were filled: and they took up of the fragments that remained twelve baskets full. And they that had eaten were about five thousand men, beside women and children. – Matthew 14:13-21
Following the death of John the Baptist, Matthew records for us that when "Jesus heard [of John the Baptist's execution under Herod], He departed from there by boat to a deserted place."
Now, unlike you and me, Jesus was not leaving out of fear. Surely Jesus was not afraid. We know that because the time was soon coming when He would purpose in His heart to walk willingly to certain death. Instead, the execution of John the Baptist signaled the growing antagonism towards Jesus, His message, and His followers. Jesus was undoubtedly taking this opportunity to withdraw from the crowds to mourn the loss of a faithful, beloved prophet, to prepare his disciples for what lay ahead for them, and to pray.
However, Jesus' withdrawal from the crowds does not indicate that He ever stopped serving them. Instead, throughout these periods of withdrawal, the crowds would often seek out Jesus, and He would unselfishly serve them.
And so it was, as Jesus came to this deserted place to rest, as he went out from the boat, he saw a great multitude and was moved with compassion. There is a lot we can learn from Jesus here. He departs from the crowd to teach his disciples and rest. Both Jesus and His disciples knew they desperately needed rest. According to Mark 6:31: "there were many coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat." They were exhausted and hungry, but Jesus does not turn the people away. Instead, He uses this as an opportunity to teach his disciples a valuable lesson: you might not have much, but a little is much when you trust in the Lord.