PICTURE a scene from the year 32 C.E. It is late in the day. Jesus, the foretold Messiah, has already won great renown for healing the sick and even resurrecting the dead. Today, he has awed a crowd of thousands by performing powerful signs and by sharing teachings of God. Now he divides the hungry people into smaller groups. He prays to Jehovah and miraculously feeds them all. Then, to avoid waste, he collects the leftovers. How do the people react?—John 6:1-13.
Well, after seeing Jesus’ miracles and his skillful leadership in managing the crowds and caring for their needs, the people conclude that Jesus would be a perfect king. (John 6:14) Their response is not surprising. Remember that they were desperate for a good, effective ruler; their beloved homeland was under the oppressive rule of a foreign power. So they put direct pressure on Jesus to join in the political process. With that background in mind, consider his reaction.
“Jesus, knowing they were about to come and seize him to make him king, withdrew again into the mountain all alone,” says John 6:15. Jesus’ stand could hardly have been more decisive. He resolutely refused to get involved in the politics of his homeland. His stand never changed. He said that his followers were to take the same position. (John 17:16) Why did he take this stand?