|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
9:10-17 The people followed Jesus, and though they came unseasonably, yet he gave them what they came for. He spake unto them of the kingdom of God. He healed those who had need of healing. And with five loaves of bread and two fishes, Christ fed five thousand men. He will not see those that fear him, and serve him faithfully, want any good thing. When we receive creature-comforts, we must acknowledge that we receive them from God, and that we are unworthy to receive them; that we owe them all, and all the comfort we have in them, to the mediation of Christ, by whom the curse is taken away. The blessing of Christ will make a little go a great way. He fills every hungry soul, abundantly satisfies it with the goodness of his house. Here were fragments taken up: in our Father's house there is bread enough, and to spare. We are not straitened, nor stinted in Christ.
Verses 10-17. - The Lord feeds the five thousand. Verse 10. - And the apostles, when they were returned, told him all that they had done. And he took them, and went aside privately into a desert place belonging to the city called Bethsaida. This, perhaps the most famous and oftenest told of the Lord's miracles, was worked directly after the return of the twelve from their mission. He and they were no doubt very weary of the crowds which continually now thronged them. The excitement of the multitude about Jesus was now at its height. Directly after the discourse at Capernaum (John 6.), which immediately followed the great miracle we are about to discuss, the popular enthusiasm began to wane. Intensely weary, dispirited too at the story of the murder of John the Baptist, which was told the Master by the disciples and the friends of John on their return from their mission, Jesus determined for a brief space to withdraw himself from the public gaze. He crossed the Lake of Gennesaret in one of his friends' fishing-boats to a town lately identified by modern research as Bethsaida Julias, a small city recently beautified by Herod Philip, and named Bethsaida Julias, after the daughter of Augustus. Bethsaida, "house of fish," was a name attached evidently to several of these fishing centres on the shores of the lake. Many of the multitude of whom we read subsequently in the account of the miracle, had watched his departure in the boat for the neighbourhood of Bethsaida Julias, and had gone on foot round the head of the lake to join the popular Teacher again. The distance round the north end of the lake from the point of embarkation, most likely Capernaum, to Bethsaida Julias is not very considerable. The crowd which soon joined him in retirement would be considerably swelled by many of the Passover pilgrims just arrived at Capernaum on their way to Jerusalem to keep the feast. These would be anxious, too, to see and to hear the great Galilaean Prophet, whose name just then was in every mouth. Not very far from Bethsaida Julias there is a secluded plain, El Batihah; thither Jesus no doubt went after leaving his fishing-boat, purposing to spend some time in perfect rest. Soon, however, the usually quiet plain becomes populous with the crowds following after the Galilaean Master. Though longing intensely for repose so necessary for himself and his disciples, he at once, moved by the eagerness of the multitude to hear and see him again, gives them his usual loving welcome, and begins in his old fashion to teach them many things, and to heal their sick.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And the apostles, when they were returned,.... From the several parts of the land where they had been sent, and had been preaching and working miracles, having gone through their circuit, and finished the service they were sent to do:
told him all they had done; what doctrines they had taught, how they had been received, and what success they met with, what miracles they had wrought, how they had dispossessed devils, and healed all sorts of diseases:
and he took them and went aside privately; by ship, over some part of the sea of Galilee; See Gill on Mark 6:32.
into a desert place belonging to the city called Bethsaida; the city of Andrew and Peter, John 1:44, and which, as Josephus (r) says, was by the lake of Gennesaret, and by Philip called Julias; and this desert place was the desert of Bethsaida, a lonely, wild, uncultivated, and desolate place, not far from it. Hither Christ went with his disciples, that they might be retired and alone, and have some refreshment and rest from their labours, and where they might privately converse together; and he give them some fresh instructions, and directions, and comfort.
(r) Antiqu. l. 18. c. 3.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
Lu 9:10-17. On the Return of the Twelve Jesus Retires with Them to Bethsaida, and There Miraculously Feeds Five Thousand.
(See on Mr 6:31-44).
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