Mark 6:31
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.
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(31-44) And he said unto them.—See Notes on Matthew 14:13-21. Peculiar to St. Mark are (1) the tender consideration of the invitation to “rest awhile,” and (2) the description of the throng of people as “coming and going.”

6:30-44 Let not ministers do any thing or teach any thing, but what they are willing should be told to their Lord. Christ notices the frights of some, and the toils of others of his disciples, and provides rest for those that are tired, and refuge for those that are terrified. The people sought the spiritual food of Christ's word, and then he took care that they should not want bodily food. If Christ and his disciples put up with mean things, surely we may. And this miracle shows that Christ came into the world, not only to restore, but to preserve and nourish spiritual life; in him there is enough for all that come. None are sent empty away from Christ but those who come to him full of themselves. Though Christ had bread enough at command, he teaches us not to waste any of God's bounties, remembering how many are in want. We may, some time, need the fragments that we now throw away.A desert place - A retired place, across the sea from Capernaum, where they would be free from interruption.

There were many coming and going - Coming to be healed and retiring, or coming to hear him preach. It means that they were "thronged," or that there was a vast multitude attending his preaching.

Mr 6:30-56. The Twelve on Their Return, Having Reported the Success of Their Mission, Jesus Crosses the Sea of Galilee with Them, Teaches the People, and Miraculously Feeds Them to the Number of Five Thousand—He Sends His Disciples by Ship Again to the Western Side, While He Himself Returns Afterwards Walking on the Sea—Incidents on Landing. ( = Mt 14:13-36; Lu 9:10-17; Joh 6:1-24).

Here, for the first time, all the four streams of sacred text run parallel. The occasion and all the circumstances of this grand section are thus brought before us with a vividness quite remarkable.

Five Thousand Miraculously Fed (Mr 6:30-44).

30. And the apostles gathered themselves together—probably at Capernaum, on returning from their mission (Mr 6:7-13).

and told him all things, both what they had done, and what they had taught—Observe the various reasons He had for crossing to the other side. First, Matthew (Mt 14:13) says, that "when Jesus heard" of the murder of His faithful forerunner—from those attached disciples of his who had taken up his body and laid it in a sepulchre (see on [1446]Mr 6:29)—"He departed by ship into a desert place apart"; either to avoid some apprehended consequences to Himself, arising from the Baptist's death (Mt 10:23), or more probably to be able to indulge in those feelings which that affecting event had doubtless awakened, and to which the bustle of the multitude around Him was very unfavorable. Next, since He must have heard the report of the Twelve with the deepest interest, and probably with something of the emotion which He experienced on the return of the Seventy (see on [1447]Lu 10:17-22), He sought privacy for undisturbed reflection on this begun preaching and progress of His kingdom. Once more, He was wearied with the multitude of "comers and goers"—depriving Him even of leisure enough to take His food—and wanted rest: "Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while," &c. Under the combined influence of all these considerations, our Lord sought this change.

Ver. 31-33. Matthew makes the cause of this motion of our Saviour’s to have been his receiving the report of Herod’s dealing with John the Baptist, as we often find him yielding to the fury of his adversaries. Mark assigns another reason, (as there may be several reasons or motives of and to the same action or motion), viz. that both himself and his apostles might have a little rest. The place which he chose for his recess is called

a desert place, not because it was wholly not inhabited, but very thinly inhabited. Luke saith it was a desert place belonging to the city called Bethsaida, Luke 9:10; probably some large forest, or common pasture, which belonged to that city, and took a denomination from it. It was a place on the other side of the water, for they went to it by ship. But this water was but a lake, though called the sea of Tiberias, for the people, fetching a little further compass about, went thither on foot, and outwent the motion of the ship.

And he said unto them,.... After he had heard their account, was satisfied with it, and approved of what they had said and done:

come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while: where they might be free from noise and hurry, and take some rest and refreshment, after their wearisome journey, hard labours, and great fatigue in preaching and working miracles; which shows the great compassion, tenderness, and care of Christ, for his disciples:

for there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat; the people were continually going to and fro; as soon as one company was gone, who came with their sick and diseased to be healed, or upon one account or another, another came: so that there was no opportunity of private meditation and prayer, nor of spiritual converse together: nor even so much as to eat a meal's meat for the refreshment of nature.

{6} 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.

(6) Such as follow Christ will lack nothing, not even in the wilderness, but they will have an abundance. And how wicked a thing it is not to look during this temporal life to the hands of the one who gives everlasting life!

Mark 6:31. ὑμεῖς αὐτοὶ, either: you yourselves, vos ipsi, without the crowd (Meyer, Schanz), or, better: you the same men who have been hard at work and need rest (Weiss in Meyer, Holtz., H. C.). This sympathy of Jesus with the Twelve reflects His own craving for rest which He often unsuccessfully strove to obtain.—ἀναπαύσασθε, aorist—only a breathing space in a life of toil.—οἱ ἐρ. καὶ οἱ ὑπάγ. Many coming and going: a constant stream of people on some errand; no sooner done with one party than another presented itself—no leisure.—οὐδε φαγεῖν εὐκαίρουν: no leisure (cf. εὔκαιρος, Mark 6:21), even to eat; imperfect, implying that it was not a solitary occurrence. What was the business on hand? Probably a political movement in Christ’s favour with which the Twelve sympathised. vide John 6:15.

31. there were many coming and going] The Passover was now nigh at hand (John 6:4) and the pilgrim companies would be on the move towards the Holy City.

Mark 6:31. Ὑμεῖς αὐτοὶ, ye yourselves) also. Often the Saviour betook Himself alone to solitude: now He says, Do ye also seek solitude [a desert place].—ὀλίγον, a little while) Solitude and intercourse with others should be blended together by the godly.—ἦσαν, they were) They did not always come and go together.

Verse 31. - Our Lord cared for his disciples. They required rest after the labour and excitement of their ministry; and it was impossible to find the needful refreshment and repose where they were so thronged by the multitude. Mark 6:31Come apart

See on Mark 3:7.

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