Matthew 14:13-18

Mat 14:13 (KJB)
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.

After hearing of the news of Johnís home going, Jesus now departed from the western side of the Sea of Galilee to the region east of the Sea. They had gone to a place about one mile south of Bethsaida Julius. 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. (John 6:59 KJV) These things said he in the synagogue, as he taught in Capernaum.

Mat 14:14 (KJB)
And Jesus went forth, and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion toward them, and he healed their sick.

Instead of Jesus being able to enjoy the quietness of the area, the news must have spread that Jesus was back in Capernaum. He did not reject them instead He felt compassion for them and healed the sick which were brought to Him. 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.

Mat 14:15 (KJB)
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.

Victuals - Food

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 came to Jesus and suggested that He dispatch the huge crowds while there was still a little daylight left so they could find their way back to the villages and find food to eat. 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 as the people were getting healed. 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 for their healing.

Mat 14:16 (KJB)
But Jesus said unto them, They need not depart; give ye them to eat.

Jesus already knew what was in their hearts and He already knew what He was going to do. Jesus did not accept the suggestion of the disciples to send the villagers away to buy food, instead He told the disciples that the crowd can stay right where they are and that the disciples should feed them. Jesus was about to perform a miracle and He was going to allow the disciples to assist.

Mat 14:17 (KJB)
And they say unto him, We have here but five loaves, and two fishes.

There were thousands of people assembled on that hillside and the disciples came to Jesus telling Him all they have is five loaves of bread which would probably be barley loaves and two fishes. At this time, they were with Jesus for over two years and yet they did not realize who they were walking with. Five loaves and two fishes in the hand of God can feed all on the earth. (John 6:9 KJV) There is a lad here, which hath five barley loaves, and two small fishes: but what are they among so many? The answer for the question in John 6:9 was about to be realized.

Mat 14:18 (KJB)
He said, Bring them hither to me.

This was an important lesson for the disciples because they had to bring the loaves and fishes to Jesus. He could have just told them to start handing it out but He was teaching them that the precursor of all ministry is to come to the Lord first. You bring whatever talent or gift you have, or even whatever ministry desire you have before the Lord and He will direct you in the ministry He will choose for you. (Prov 16:9 KJV) A man's heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps. The Lord always controls the ministry, not us.