I was a bit rebuked and amazed when I read this – that Jesus, not even having had the chance to mourn John, would have compassion on people who kept following him. I am not that gracious when I need to do something at the best of times, let alone when I’m struggling with something. Very hard to read when we are called to be Christ-like, to give up our rights for the sake of others.
John’s disciples came and took his body and buried it. Then they went and told Jesus.
When Jesus heard what had happened, he withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place. Hearing of this, the crowds followed him on foot from the towns. When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick.