John 6:2
And a great multitude followed him, because they saw his miracles which he did on them that were diseased.
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(2) A great multitude . . .—This is explained by the facts (1) that the Baptist had been put to death, and that those who had followed him would now follow Christ; (2) that the Twelve had now returned from their ministry in the towns and villages of Galilee; (3) that the Passover was at hand, and that numbers would be flocking from Northern Palestine to Jerusalem.

Followed . . . saw . . . did.—Better, were following . . . were beholding . . . was doing. The verbs express a continuance of the actions. It does not mean simply that they saw these miracles on the west of the lake, and followed Him across it; but that He kept on healing the sick, and that the crowds kept on following Him. The usual caravan-road for the northern pilgrims was on the east side of the lake, and the throng would increase as He went.

6:1-14 John relates the miracle of feeding the multitude, for its reference to the following discourse. Observe the effect this miracle had upon the people. Even the common Jews expected the Messiah to come into the world, and to be a great Prophet. The Pharisees despised them as not knowing the law; but they knew most of Him who is the end of the law. Yet men may acknowledge Christ as that Prophet, and still turn a deaf ear to him.Because they saw his miracles ... - They saw that he had the power to supply their wants, and they therefore followed him. See John 6:26. Compare also Matthew 14:14. CHAPTER 6

Joh 6:1-13. Five Thousand Miraculously Fed.

(See on [1787]Mr 6:31-44).

Our Saviour (as appeareth by Mark 6:31) only spake to his apostles to withdraw into a desert place, and to rest a while; but, Mark 6:33, though our Saviour went by ship, yet the people ran afoot thither out of all cities, and outwent them, and came together unto him. That which induced them was their knowledge of the miracles which he had wrought.

And a great multitude followed him,.... From several cities and towns in Galilee, where he had been preaching and working miracles:

because they saw his miracles which he did on them that were diseased; so that it was not for the sake of his doctrine, or for the good of their souls, they followed him; but either to gratify their curiosity in seeing his miracles, or to be healed in their bodies, as others had been.

And a great multitude followed him, because they saw his miracles which he did on them that were diseased.
John 6:2-3. Ἠκολούθει] on this journey, continuously.

ἑώρων] not had seen (against Schweizer, B. Crusius), but saw. He performed them (ἐποίει) upon the way.

ἐπὶ τ. ἀσθ.] among the sick. Dem. 574. 3; Plat. Pol. iii. p. 399 A; Bernhardy, p. 246.

εἰς τὸ ὄρος] upon the mountain which was there. See on Matthew 5:1. The mountain was certainly on the other side of the lake, but we cannot determine the locality more nearly. The loneliness of the mountain does not contradict Matthew 14:13, nor does the eastern side of the lake contradict Luke 9:10 ff. (see in loc.).

2. a great multitude] All the greater seeing that the Baptist was no longer a counter-attraction, and that the Twelve had returned from their mission, in which they had no doubt excited attention. This multitude went round by land while Christ crossed the water. All the verbs which follow are imperfects and express continued and habitual action; were following Him, because they were beholding the signs which he was doing, &c., i.e. after He landed He kept on working miracles of healing, and these continually attracted fresh crowds.

Verse 2. - There was following him a vast crowd, because they were spectators of the signs he was working on those that were sick. The imperfect tenses here reveal a period of time that had elapsed; a group and series of healings which had touched the heart of the people. Their "following" had not been by ship, but round the head of the lake, and across the ford of the Jordan, which is still situated about two miles from the point where the river flows into the Sea of Galilee. The multitudes would easily learn the direction of the well known boat with its solitary sail, and would be, some of them, ready at the landing place, to greet the Lord on his arrival. Many hours might elapse before the crowd had reached such vast proportions as we subsequently find. It may easily have been swollen by curious and inquisitive pilgrims, or by the inhabitants of the neighbouring villages, intent on a sight of the Prophet who had preached the sermon, who had spoken in wondrous parables, who had given such striking proof that "God was with him." John 6:2Multitude (ὄχλος)

See on John 1:19.

Followed (ἠκολούθει)

Imperfect tense, denoting not merely the following on this occasion, but generally.

Saw (ἑώρων)

Rev., beheld. See on John 1:18.

His miracles

Omit his. Render, as Rev., the signs.

He did (ἐποίει)

Imperfect, was doing, from time to time.

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