When Jesus heard what had happened [John the Baptist’s execution], he withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place. Hearing of this, the crowds followed him on foot from the towns. When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick.
Matthew 14:13-14 [brackets mine]
It’s amazing, the compassion of our Savior. Jesus hears about the murder of his cousin, a prophet, and a man who was spoken about in prophesies… As Jesus said himself, “Among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist” (Matthew 11:11). Anyone would acknowledge that Jesus would want some time alone, to pray and be comforted by God after this occurred.
But the crowds were also in need. They were trapped in their darkness, their sickness, their pain. They needed a Savior, a Healer, a Friend. Jesus knew it, and he came to them and healed them. What a wonderful God! And not only did Jesus heal them, but this was also the time that he miraculously fed the crowd with five loaves and two fish. Thank you Lord, for the compassion and mercy that you have on each of us, meeting us in our needs despite their being bigger and more important things going on. You are in control of every circumstance, and You make a way for each person who seeks You.