Jesus spoke these words at a time when large crowds had followed Him to a remote place. It was getting late, and the disciples were keen to send the people away to buy food from the local villages.
“But Jesus said unto them, They have no need to go away.”
How touching that our Lord didn’t want the crowds to leave. He had just had word that John the Baptist, His cousin, had been beheaded, and He had withdrawn to a solitary place. The crowds had followed Him. He put aside His own sore heart to tend to them. Their spiritual hunger to hear the word of God, and perhaps their fascination to see miracles, had caused them to follow further than usual. Perhaps Jesus sensed the power of God in the atmosphere and knew that because of their faith, another phenomenon was about to take place. Sure enough, it did. Before too long, thousands were fed from five loaves of bread and two fish.
The Saviour so loved the people that He had compassion on them and chose to feed them. They did not need to leave and find nourishment elsewhere; He provided for them.
He does not want you to go away. So often, when we are disgruntled or discouraged, we search out other pleasures or pastimes. When our friends let us down, we seek out the company of others. But Jesus is asking us to stay with Him. Even when we find His teaching difficult to understand or the way hard to follow, we must learn to trust and remain with Him. Many have turned aside and left Christ when the path has become arduous. We need to be faithful like His disciples:
“But you are those who have continued with Me in My trials.” Luke 22:28 NKJV
We are not promised an easy but hard road with many trials. However, like the five thousand fed by His hand, He will nourish us too. Let us not be like those who walked away but those who remain faithful, despite the difficulties or the disgruntlement. Hold on to your faith, and love for Jesus, knowing He has first loved you and wants you to remain with Him. Hear Him say, ‘You do not need to go away.’