15 Therefore when Jesus perceived that they were about to come and take Him by force to make Him king, He departed again to the mountain by Himself alone.
This verse marks the height of Jesus’ popularity. The crowd of the feeding of the 5,000 men wanted a king to rule them and guarantee security in life. However, these people did not understand the reason Jesus came to earth. Jesus refused to become a political opportunist. He did not yield to populism of the mob.
15 Therefore when Jesus perceived that they were about to come and take Him by force to make Him king,
The crowd correctly recognized Jesus as the Messiah but wrongly equated His Messiahship with the setting up of an earthly kingdom at that present time. They were fervent political activists who attempted to be king-makers for Israel. They wanted to use Him for their own ends. Their goals were temporal (not eternal) and materialistic, not God-centered. They evidently wanted to kidnap Him and force Him to go with them. The crowd was willing to resort to violence to make Jesus king. They were in the business of sedition and rebellion against Rome.
Jesus sent His disciples out to sea to save His team from the political ambitions of the crowd to change God’s purpose for Him and His people (Jn 6:45).
He departed again to the mountain [Golan Heights]
Having dismissed the crowd, Jesus left for the mountain so that the crowd would not pursue Him further to be their political king. He left the political activists behind to stew in their theory about Jesus being a political king. He was not about ready to acquiesce to their fancy of a new power over Rome.
by Himself alone.
Jesus withdrew from the crowd so that He could be “alone.” He did this deliberately because the time for His kingdom had not come yet. Israel was not ready for the millennial kingdom. The nation needed first to turn to Him in faith.
From the point that Jesus refused to become a political king of Israel, the nation began to turn against Him and the leaders sought to undermine Him.
Seeking God for self-gain is a violation of biblical truth.
Jesus did not come into the world to resolve the physical needs of man. He was not interested in success for the sake of success. He did not come to meet the desire for self-esteem, health, or wealth. That turns the gospel message upside down. We cannot come to Christ on our terms to have psychological or physical needs met, but we must come to Him on His terms.
Many religionists today use Jesus for their own ends. Political philosophies today assume man’s fundamental need is material, so they look at people through an economic interpretation of history. They develop their theologies around consumer purposes. They believe that health, wealth, and prosperity are God-given rights. They use slogans such as “Name it and claim it,” “God wants you to be rich,” and “Think mink.” Such ideas entice the biblically ignorant.
There is a fallacy in this thinking. They evaluate success only in present terms with no reference to eternal values. Such thinking is the reverse of biblical order. True biblical orientation revolves around God’s purpose for man and His program for time and eternity. God puts primacy on godly character and alignment with God’s glory. Joseph’s orientation to God led him to prison. Daniel’s orientation put him in trouble with the state. True heroes of the Bible are those who operate by faith (He 11).
He 11:37 They were stoned, they were sawn in two, were tempted, were slain with the sword. They wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented—38 of whom the world was not worthy. They wandered in deserts and mountains, in dens and caves of the earth.
God is more interested in the people who live in the house than the image of living in the house. Man does not consist in the abundance of what he possesses. A believer measured by his possessions is victimized by culture by way of a perverted gospel. The church has entered a period of spiritual flabbiness.
Woodrow Wilson said, “I would rather fail in the cause that someday will triumph than triumph in a cause that someday will fail.”