He was about to pass by them . . . (Mark 6:48).
The story of Jesus feeding the 5000 had to be the best known story of the early church. The only miracle story told in all four gospels it goes like this:
The disciples, sent out to preach the Kingdom of God returned from their mission with a following fiercely determined to get to Jesus – so determined that Jesus could not escape them. So determined that they came without provisions. Though hungry and tired himself, Jesus taught them, and fed them – and they responded by attempting to make Jesus a king by force.
Utterly chagrined, Jesus dismissed the disciples (first) and the crowds and, perhaps in frustration, sought time alone with his Father in prayer.
The extent of Jesus’ frustration is seen in our verse. The disciples were working hard rowing to their destination and Jesus, unhindered by wind and waves, was determined to get there without them. Jesus wasn’t “about” to pass them by. He had decided to pass them by. Intent is the meaning of the word. They were as upset with Jesus as he was with them and the Lord decided to let them stew in their difficulties for a while.
But he didn’t. He couldn’t – any more than he could let the crowd go hungry. They too were frustrated, and they were afraid. And Jesus made a detour to help them.
When you are frustrated with others, remember they may well be frustrated with you. Perhaps their frustration is a result of their own feelings, actions or prejudices. What they might need is not alienation, but a reassuring fellowship that while things might not yet be alright, they will be.