“A world of insight is hidden in four words in Matthew 14:22: ” He [Jesus] dismissed the crowd” (NIV). This wasn’t just any crowd that Jesus dismissed.
These weren’t casually curious.
These weren’t coincidental bystanders.
This was a multitude with a mission. They had heard the disciples. They had left their homes. They had followed Jesus around the sea. They had heard him teach and had seen him heal. They had eaten the bread. And they were ready to make him king.
Surely Jesus will commandeer the crowd and focus their frenzy. Surely he will seize the chance to convert the thousands. Surely he will spend the night baptizing the willing followers. No one would turn down an opportunity to minister to thousands of people, right?
“He dismissed he crowd.” Why? Read verse 23: “After he dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray”(NIV).
He said no to the important in order to say yes to the vital.
He said no to a good opportunity in order to say yes to a better opportunity. It wasn’t a selfish decision. It was a deliberate choice to honor priorities. If Jesus thought it necessary to say no to the demands of the crowds in order to pray, don’t you think you and I should, too?”
Excerpt from Max Lucado’s “Experiencing the Heart of Jesus.”