And when it was evening, his disciples came to him, saying, This is a desert place, and the time is now past; send the multitude away…
I. THE PRODUCTIONS OF THE EARTH AND OF THE EARTH'S INDUSTRY, OUTWARD POSSESSIONS AND BENEFITS, THE THINGS THAT ARE CONSUMED IN THE USING. Shut up your bread-corn in a granary, and though it may not rot, it cannot grow; but strow it Abroad over the furrows of the ground, and it will swell into a harvest. Lock up your piece of silver or gold, and it is no better than dead; but send it out into the world's free commerce, and the rusty solitary shall become a glittering host. An avaricious policy is dull-sighted and thriftless. It saves, but to be barren. Modern science teaches us that public wealth is born of trust and free communications.
II. INTELLIGENCE AND KNOWLEDGE, THE POWER OF LEARNING AND THE TREASURES OF LEARNING, ARE MULTIPLIED BY DISTRIBUTION. The human mind is not less ready than the soil to render back with interest what is sown in it. Jesus gave to the disciples, and the disciples to the multitude. That is the way in which instruction is imparted. It passes from one to the many. It finds companions. Truth begets truth; and you must have a company to show the supply. What would have seemed inconsiderable if left by itself, grows into great account as it is sent forward among those who apprehend it, and transmit it in new and manifold forms. It is manifested, it is accumulated, by travelling down among the sympathies and wants of those whose hearts love it, whose natures crave it, and whose ability and experience reproduce and recommend it to all men.
III. JOY, HOPE, AND ALL CHEERING INFLUENCES ARE INCREASED BY BEING SENT ROUND FROM A SINGLE MIND AMONG THE RANKS OF THE WORLD'S POOR SOJOURNERS. Nothing is more heightened by communication than just such impulses as those we here require. Joy and hope are social; they ask for companionship; they spread by contact and mutual encouragement. He who has awakened them in his own breast, finds them greatly enhanced by expressing them; and their expression is caught up and repeated by numberless voices that had till then slept.
(L. N. Frothingham.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And when it was evening, his disciples came to him, saying, This is a desert place, and the time is now past; send the multitude away, that they may go into the villages, and buy themselves victuals.
WEB: When evening had come, his disciples came to him, saying, "This place is deserted, and the hour is already late. Send the multitudes away, that they may go into the villages, and buy themselves food."