Mark 6:31-35

Mark 6:31 (KJB)
And he said unto them, Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while: for there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat.

Then Jesus seeing that the twelve were probably exhausted from their missionary journey had now told them that they should come apart into a desert place for a rest. There is nothing written in Scripture that we are to burn out for the Lord. He wants us to rest because ministry can be very exhausting and after all, we are still in the flesh and flesh gets tired. Even in the place where they were, there were many people who were still coming and going, and they were so busy that they did not even have time to eat, so a period of rest for them was definitely needed.

Mark 6:32 (KJB)
And they departed into a desert place by ship privately.

They finally had a few moments to themselves to eat and relax. When I say a few moments, that is about all they had. It is not known as to the exact location but they had gone to a place about one mile south of Bethsaida Julias. It was a desert place and was sparsely populated and had a hill which rose above the plain. Jesus was not trying to escape from Herod Antipas but withdrew from public view in order to spend more time with His disciples and teach them plus this began His journey to Jerusalem and the cross. This departure was only temporary as Jesus was back in the area of Galilee again but only for a short time.

Mark 6:33 (KJB)
And the people saw them departing, and many knew him, and ran afoot thither out of all cities, and outwent them, and came together unto him.

Instead of Jesus and His disciples being able to enjoy the quietness of the area, the news must have spread that Jesus was back in Capernaum. Soon as the word spread, the crowds once again began to amass and another great crowd soon formed. He did not reject them instead He felt compassion for them. Sometimes when a person is in the ministry, they may try to do one thing and something else always crops up. It is the essence of ministry. (John 3:8 KJV) The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit. John 3:8 gives a good description of the ministry as one never knows where they will be ministering in the future. One of the reasons that the people knew who they were was because the disciples had just completed a missionary journey among the people.

Mark 6:34 (KJB)
And Jesus, when he came out, saw much people, and was moved with compassion toward them, because they were as sheep not having a shepherd: and he began to teach them many things.

Matthew also described the crowd as great and that Jesus had healed many of their sick. (Mat 14:14 KJV) And Jesus went forth, and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion toward them, and he healed their sick. Jesus also had compassion to the fact that these people were like sheep. Wherever Jesus went, they would follow Him as sheep follows a shepherd. The religious leaders of Israel were not shepherds because they did not care about the souls and the spiritual life of the sheep. All they wanted was to take their money and make it theirs so the people wandered about as sheep having no shepherd. Unfortunately, even many in churches today do not have a shepherd, oh yes, they may have a pastor, but they are not getting fed the true word of God as many pastors today have no calling on their lives to be pastors. Many are doing it for prestige and many for salaries and benefits. Meanwhile the people come to church and receive no real biblical training. Jesus saw the dire situation the people of Israel were in and so He began to teach them the true Gospel, something the Scribes and Pharisees knew nothing about.

Mark 6:35 (KJB)
And when the day was now far spent, his disciples came unto him, and said, This is a desert place, and now the time is far passed:

The multitudes were still with Jesus in the desert place and it was now getting toward evening, which would be considered the first period of the night. The disciples had realized that since it as getting on toward night, that the crowds should go away now because if they decided to stay, then they would be walking around a desert place at night and that would not only place them in harmís way with robbers but also with wild animals that prowl around at night. The crowds did not seem the least bit concerned about the time but it was the disciples who were concerned. The crowds had assembled hastily in the beginning of the day and they all probably lost track of time. I am sure those who became healed were not thinking about suppertime, but were probably having a great time of praise and worship to God plus no one would wanted to have left while Jesus was teaching.