16.His disciples went down. Christ undoubtedly intended to conceal himself until the crowd should disperse. We know how difficult it is to allay a popular tumult. Now, if they had openly attempted to do what they had intended, it would have been no easy matter afterwards to wipe off the stain which had once been fixed upon him. Meanwhile, he spent all that time in prayer, as the other Evangelists (Mat_14:23; Mar_6:46) relate; probably, that God the Father might repress that folly of the people. (130) As to his crossing the lake in a miraculous manner, it is intended to profit his disciples by again confirming their faith. The advantage extended still farther; for next day all the people would easily see that he had not been brought thither by a boat or ship, (131) but that he had come by his own power; for they blockaded the shore from which he had to set out, and would scarcely have been drawn away from it, if they had not seen the disciples cross to a different place.
(130) On our Savior’ retirement into the mountain to pray, our Author has made very interesting and profitable observations. Harmony of the Evangelists, volume 2, page 237. — Ed.