Matthew 14:13-14 NKJV
When Jesus heard it, He departed from there by boat to a deserted place by Himself. But when the multitudes heard it, they followed Him on foot from the cities. And when Jesus went out He saw a great multitude; and He was moved with compassion for them, and healed their sick.
The 'it' that this verse talks about is Jesus' cousin, John the Baptist, being killed by Herod. This John the Baptist was the one who prepared the way for Jesus, he baptized Jesus, and was a great prophet for God.
When Jesus heard that John had been killed, He had to take some time for Himself. So, He was a bit preoccupied. He's in this 'deserted place', all alone, and then all of these people come to Him. They followed Him to where He was grieving for John. Just because He was in grief didn't mean He wasn't the Son of God! So Jesus had compassion on them and healed their sick. If you read ahead, the disciples also came to Him, and then Jesus fed the 5,000. All of this, right after His cousin's death! Why? Because Jesus knew what God needed Him to do. (By the way, He actually fed 5000 men, besides women and children, so doesn't that mean He fed more than 5,000?)
What does this mean for us, in today's world? It means that we can get preoccupied, and grieve, and whatever, and that's perfectly normal. But don't get so wrapped up in it that you can't see God's calling, and don't ignore the problem altogether, either. In verse 23, the Bible says that He went up on the mountain, and He had His alone time with God. He still had what He needed, but He also gave many people what they needed that day: compassion.
In His Service,
Response Question: What do you think 'besides women and children' means?