When the people saw him do this miraculous sign, they exclaimed, “Surely, he is the Prophet we have been expecting!” When Jesus saw that they were ready to force him to be their king, he slipped away into the hills by himself. (John 6:14-15)
Relate: The people wanted a revolution and they wanted Jesus to lead it whether He wanted to or not. The murder of John had stirred the crowds against Herod. Pilate was a bumbling idiot who went out of his way to offend the Jews time and time again. The time was ripe for a violent overthrow of both. It was time to break off the yoke of Rome and be free. Now Jesus has demonstrated His ability to meet every army’s greatest need… supply. An army lives and dies on its stomach. This is especially true in a land that is one small step away from being a barren desert. They were ready to capture Jesus and make Him their “leader” so that this lack, which had stymied so many previous revolutions, would be seen to. Jesus would have none of it. He sent His disciples away and then got away and got alone Himself.
React: They say reluctant leaders make the best leaders. Those who don’t crave power are best able to handle it when it finally comes their way. I think if I found myself in Jesus’s shoes on that day I might have used that excuse to give in to their demands. I didn’t really want to be king, but since you insist… Outwardly I would be trying to downplay their demands at my elevation but inwardly I would bask in the adulation. Finally someone is truly recognizing my greatness. I am getting the credit and the recognition I should have been receiving all along.
I’m not as wise as Jesus. I would not have realized that it isn’t truly me they want, it is my talent. They weren’t truly after Jesus to be king. You don’t make a king by force. They wanted Him to be supply master and I guess He would work pretty well as a figurehead as well. He certainly could be nothing more if His kingship started off with a kidnapping. The problem is, the only one to ever get Jesus to do something He didn’t want to do was the Father in heaven. The crowd still had to learn a lesson we all to often need as well: God isn’t Santa Clause. We can’t corner Him and force Him to put out for our own selfish desires.
God, help me to go where You go. Help me to move when You move, and not one second sooner. So often I want to force Your hand. So often I want to take those opportunities that seem to come my way. But if you are not in it, no matter how easy or convenient it may seem, help me to slip away. Help me to be sensitive to follow Your leading. All too often the noise, clamor, and demands of the crowd seem to drown You out. But You are the audience I play for. You are my lead, help me to follow.