Jesus Meets Apostles (Matthew 14:13; Mark 6:30, 31; Luke 9:10; John 6:1-4)

Submitted by admin on Wed, 2008-02-13 12:21.

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Jesus probably had made arrangements to meet the apostles in Capernaum after they had completed the mission on which he had sent them. (See the Notes section for additional comments.) Upon their return, they related to Jesus what they had done and taught. Possibly at this time, they first heard about the death of John. This would have greatly saddened them and appears to have been part of the reason for Jesus’ recommendation to depart for an isolated area to get some rest. Once it had become known that they had returned to the area, Jesus and his apostles had little privacy. They were unable even to eat a meal without interruption, because of the many people who were coming and going. (Matthew 14:13; Mark 6:30, 31)

The number of people probably was greater than at other times, as the Passover was near. (John 6:4) Many families in Galilee would have started to travel to the major routes leading to Jerusalem and been staying in towns and villages along the way. This would have contributed to increased talk about Jesus activity, and more people would have witnessed his curing of the sick. (John 6:2)

Jesus’ departure with his apostles did not go unnoticed. Those who saw them leave by boat quickly spread the news. A large crowd of men, women, and children from different towns then hurried to the other side of the Sea of Galilee to meet them. The walking distance may have been less than five miles, as the isolated area was near Bethsaida. (Matthew 14:13; Mark 6:32, 33; Luke 9:10; John 6:1, 2) A distance of a little over three miles separates what are believed to have been the locations of ancient Capernaum and Bethsaida. From the shore, the people would have been able to see the progress of the boat in the northern part of the Sea of Galilee.


Capernaum would have been the logical place for Jesus and the apostles to meet. Peter and Andrew had their home there, and most of the other apostles appear to have lived in the general vicinity. The availability of a boat also points to Capernaum as the probable location. An indication that Jesus and his apostles left from there by boat is their coming to the plain of Gennesaret (south of Capernaum) upon their return to the western shore of the Sea of Galilee. (Matthew 14:34; Mark 6:53)

The time for the return of the apostles from their mission was also appropriate. With the Passover being near, Jesus and his apostles needed to make the journey to Jerusalem. Like Peter, most, if not all, of the other apostles would have been married and likely had children. Families customarily made the trip together, and there is no reason to conclude that the apostles would not have done so. (Compare Mark 1:29, 30; Luke 2:41, 42; John 2:12, 13; 7:3, 8-10; 1 Corinthians 9:5)