“After these things” John finds it important to note the context of the time frame. So I will recap. Jesus has been in Jerusalem. It is prior to Passover yet he has left the area. He has just confronted Jewish authority with His own authority (he who IS the author of it all). He arrived into the gathering Passover crowds with healing, having recently made rounds through Galilee and Samaria. He has now gone north again only this time He has crossed from Tiberius over the sea into an area which is modern day Syria.
He does not go alone. Crowds have followed Him. He has drawn away from the city, just when the Passover is at hand, crowds of people. These people may have traveled to Jerusalem for the Passover, but now, they with their tourist and worshiper’s money, have left the city and followed Jesus. I don’t suppose that made the merchants in Jerusalem very pleased. They had prepared for crowds who were not at the normal level at this time of year. But because of the signs Jesus was doing, these seekers had followed Jesus. Those who had taken a journey already, seeking The Lord in His temple in Jerusalem, were ready to continue to seek Him when Jesus led them to a different place. They were seeing the signs of healing so they followed.
Jesus has led them to a place away from the noise of the city to a mountain area. He can sit down and teach them. The mountainside is his lecture hall. His voice will be heard.
- How do I follow Jesus now?
- Am I willing to go where He is, to a place without the distractions of daily life, even church related business, so that I can sit and listen and learn from Him.
- Where is that place for me?
- I sit here now, out of consistency, in the place that has become my place of rest in my home, as part of my routine to sit and read His word and learn from Him, reflect on His word. But, is there perhaps a time that I need to break away from my routine and find a different place, more physically separated so I am not distracted by routine and expectations?
- Where do I need to go to be still and know, to read, listen and learn?