When Jesus heard of it, he departed thence by ship into a desert place apart: and when the people had heard thereof, they followed him on foot out of the cities. And Jesus went forth, and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion toward them, and he healed their sick.
Jesus was nothing if not approachable. All kinds of people came to Him for all kinds of reasons, most desperately so. From the poor begging blind man to a ruler of the synagogue and everyone in between, all could come to Jesus. He exuded kindness and compassion. He was gentle and full of grace and mercy. He had a genuine love and concern for people that must have been extremely evident to those with whom He interacted.
Jesus approached the unapproachable—the leper, the woman at the well, the tax collector, the outcasts of society, and the prideful Pharisees. He didn’t come here to float above the crowds, do His duty, and depart from this world, but He was intimately and intricately involved in individual lives. In this passage, He goes to this desert place following the news of John the Baptist’s death to have some time and space away from the multitudes. But they found Him there, and He would not turn them away. He healed their sick. He ministered to their needs by feeding them all with those few loaves and fish.
Jesus is a hands-on God, involved in the nitty-gritty of life in this world, coming alongside humanity in its collective sin and brokenness, not shying away from the most difficult situations. And even if bodily He no longer walks this earth, He is still all of those things. He is still approachable, still full of compassion, still willing to get involved in our lives, still able to provide for our needs.
Let us go to Him, then, and seek a gracious Savior. He invites all to come unto Him to receive His rest, His peace, His joy. He comes to the fearful, the mourning, the broken, the lost. He comes to the needy, the sick, the poor, the lonely, the weak. He comes to the desperate, the hopeless, the shame-filled sinner, the vulnerable, and the weary. He comes and offers nothing more than Himself, but that is always exactly what we need.