John 6:1 Some time after this, Jesus crossed to the far shore of the Sea of Galilee (that is, the Sea of Tiberias), 2 and a great crowd of people followed him because they saw the signs he had performed by healing the sick. 3 Then Jesus went up on a mountainside and sat down with his disciples. 4 The Jewish Passover Festival was near.
5 When Jesus looked up and saw a great crowd coming toward him, he said to Philip, “Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?” 6 He asked this only to test him, for he already had in mind what he was going to do.
7 Philip answered him, “It would take more than half a year’s wages to buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!”
8 Another of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, spoke up, 9 “Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?”
10 Jesus said, “Have the people sit down.” There was plenty of grass in that place, and they sat down (about five thousand men were there). 11 Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted. He did the same with the fish.
12 When they had all had enough to eat, he said to his disciples, “Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted.” 13 So they gathered them and filled twelve baskets with the pieces of the five barley loaves left over by those who had eaten.
14 After the people saw the sign Jesus performed, they began to say, “Surely this is the Prophet who is to come into the world.” 15 Jesus, knowing that they intended to come and make him king by force, withdrew again to a mountain by himself.
Passover, unlike the Sabbath, only comes around once a year. So, this happened at least a year before the "Last Supper".
Let's look at who was there. Jesus, of course, Andrew [a disciple of John the Baptist who was now following Jesus], Phillip [another disciple of John the Baptist who was now following Jesus], John [one of the Zebedee boys and friend of Jesus] and five thousand men.
There were women, children, and slaves in the crowd. None of them were considered important enough to count. However, if every man brought one companion or slave, there were 10,000 people. That's a lot of fish fry happy meals!
Now, please look at verse 15. When I read that, I thought.... how could they make Him king "by force". So, I went into the commentaries, and this is what I found.
They were about to come and take Him by force to make Him king: King was a political title. The crowd was willing to support Jesus because they wanted to use Him to throw off Roman oppression either directly in Judea or indirectly through Herod Antipas in Galilee.
i. “Suddenly there was this unusual man Jesus. He had miraculous power. So they must have said something like this to themselves, ‘Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could get Him on our side and get Him to help us drive out the Romans?’” (Boice)
ii. “If the Galileans did not live directly under Roman control, as their brethren in Judea did, their ruler Herod Antipas was a creature of Rome, and they experienced no feelings of patriotic pride as they contemplated the Herodian dynasty.” (Bruce)
This charming potluck on the grassy hillside might have turned into an insurrection, had He so desired.
The 5,000 men would have become His army, had He wanted to take on Rome. He could have pulled off an insurrection, had He wanted to make all this political. He could have pulled Herod out of his party and strung him up for murdering His cousin John the Baptist, had He wanted to do the physical route.
Jesus didn't come to be king by vote! God never wanted there to be a "king" in the first place. God has no use for politics or money. Jesus will be king, but it will be worldwide, and He will be undisputed!
Jesus didn't come to earth to be king. Jesus came to earth to bring eternal life to Believers. Being king would be a huge leap down.
Jesus did His disappearing thing again.... and escaped to the mountain to be alone. Jesus let things die down. He could have made a rabid speech and started a war, but instead, He let things die down.
Jesus avoided the insurrection.