Sunday Lectionary: Blessed and Broken

Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time: 29th July, 2012

The Readings this week focus on God’s gracious provision and in the First Reading and the Gospel this gracious provision is manifested through bread.

In the First Reading, bread is multiplied by the Prophet Elisha and in the Gospel, bread is multiplied at the hands of Jesus. These Readings teach us trust in God, to proclaim with the psalmist that The hand of the Lord feeds us; he answers all our needs”. Both of these miracles allude to the Eucharist, pointing towards the time when Jesus will be consumed throughout the world under the appearance of bread and wine.

In our Second Reading St. Paul tells us that Christians are called to be united in one body…one Spirit…one hope…one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father”. This oneness and Church unity finds its clearest expression in the Eucharist. At the Mass, we come together as God’s family, and because though “many, [we are] are one body, for we all share the one loaf” (1 Corinthains 10:17).

As we gather together at the Liturgy this week, let us be mindful that the whole family of God, both in Heaven and on earth, is gathering together with us. United as one, we celebrate the Lord’s Resurrection and are once again fed by the hand of the Lord.

There He is: King of kings and Lord of lords, hidden in the bread. To this extreme He humbled Himself for love of you –St. Josemaria Escriva

 


 

Reading I: 2 Kings 4:42-44

The books of 1 & 2 Kings cover the period of time from King David’s death to the end of the monarchy with King Zedekiah of Judah.

Within the pages of these books we encounter the great Prophet Elijah (“My God is Yahweh”). His ministry comes to an end in 2 Kings 2:11 when he is assumed into Heaven, but only after he has commissioned a successor, the Prophet Elisha (“God has saved”).

Elisha was a disciple of Elijah… but Not this Elijah…and Elisha fed the people with food that was even better than Lembas bread

Today we hear about a miracle worked at the hands of Elijah’s protégé that should seem eerily familiar to anyone familiar with the life of Jesus…

A man came from Baal-shalishah bringing to Elisha, the man of God, twenty barley loaves made from the firstfruits, and fresh grain in the ear. Elisha said, “Give it to the people to eat.” But his servant objected, “How can I set this before a hundred people?” Elisha insisted, “Give it to the people to eat.” “For thus says the LORD, ‘They shall eat and there shall be some left over.'” And when they had eaten, there was some left over, as the LORD had said.

Questions:

  • Of what New Testament event does this remind you?
  • What are the “firstfruits” mentioned? Why was Elisha receiving them?
  • Who is Elisha?
  • What instruction does he give concerning the bread?
  • What was the outcome?

Commentary:

A man came from Baal-shalishah…

This place is thought to be located in Samaria. “Baal” means “Lord” and “shalishah” most likely means “third”.

…bringing to Elisha, the man of God, …

The name “Elisha” means “God has saved”.

…twenty barley loaves made from the firstfruits, …

This food would have been gratefully received as it was a time of scarcity:

Elisha returned to Gilgal and there was a famine in that region – 2 Kings 4:38

The “firstfruits” referred to here would have been the tithe commanded by Moses to support the religious leaders of Israel:

 You are to give [the Levitical priests] the firstfruits of your grain, new wine and olive oil, and the first wool from the shearing of your sheep – Deuteronomy 18:4

However, rather than bringing the firstfruits to the apostate priests setup by King Jeroboam in Bethel and Dan, this man brings them to Elisha.

and fresh grain in the ear.

Some unprocessed grain was also presented.

Elisha said, “Give it to the people to eat.” 

Rather than keeping the bread for himself, Elisha orders that it be shared.

But his servant objected, “How can I set this before a hundred people?” Elisha insisted, “Give it to the people to eat.”

The servant doubts, but Elisha is resolute.

The Man from Baal Shalisha
What matter though our loaves be few?
Alike the little and the much
When He shall add to what we have
His multiplying touch.
– Poem by Annie Johnson Flint

“For thus says the LORD, ‘They shall eat and there shall be some left over.'”

The Word of God is spoken. Elisha predicts that everyone will eat and there will even be some left over.

And when they had eaten, there was some left over, as the LORD had said.

What the Lord spoke through Elisha came true.

 


 

Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 145:10-11, 15-16, 17-18

Our psalm this week perfectly fits in with the theme of God’s provision described in our First Reading and Gospel.

R. (cf. 16) The hand of the Lord feeds us; he answers all our needs.

Let all your works give you thanks, O LORD, and let your faithful ones bless you. Let them discourse of the glory of your kingdom and speak of your might.

The eyes of all look hopefully to you, and you give them their food in due season; you open your hand and satisfy the desire of every living thing.

The LORD is just in all his ways and holy in all his works. The LORD is near to all who call upon him, to all who call upon him in truth.

wheat field

Questions:

  • According to the psalmist, who feeds us?
  • What is the appropriate response?

Commentary:

R. (cf. 16) The hand of the Lord feeds us; he answers all our needs.

Provision ultimately comes from the Lord. The Lord is good and generous.

Let all your works give you thanks, O LORD, and let your faithful ones bless you. Let them discourse of the glory of your kingdom and speak of your might.

The appropriate response to God’s goodness is thanksgiving and the blessing of God.

The eyes of all look hopefully to you, and you give them their food in due season; you open your hand and satisfy the desire of every living thing. The LORD is just in all his ways and holy in all his works. The LORD is near to all who call upon him, to all who call upon him in truth.

Our dependence upon the Lord is reiterated.

 


Reading II: Ephesians 4:1-6

For the last two weeks, our Second Reading has been drawn from the Letter to the Ephesians and this week is no exception! We now arrive at the point in the letter when Paul has finished his doctrinal exposition and now turns to exhortation, applying the theology discussed earlier in the letter.

In this passage Paul talks about the unity of the Church and always reminds me of Jesus’ High Priestly prayer on the night of His arrest:

“…I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. – John 17:20-23

This is probably my favourite passage from Ephesians. Enjoy 🙂

Brothers and sisters: I, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to live in a manner worthy of the call you have received, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another through love, striving to preserve the unity of the spirit through the bond of peace: one body and one Spirit, as you were also called to the one hope of your call; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.

christian unity

Questions:

  • From where is Paul writing this epistle?
  • To what does Paul exhort his readers?
  • How many times does Paul use the word “one”?
  • How are Christians united?
  • How does this passage relate to the other Readings? (How is this unity found in the Eucharist?)

Commentary:

Brothers and sisters: I, a prisoner for the Lord, …

The letter to the Ephesians is one of Paul’s prison epistles. Paul is most likely in Rome when he is writing this.

(One might also read this spiritually, seeing that Jesus has captured Paul’s heart)

…urge you to live in a manner worthy of the call you have received, …

The Christian is called to be a child of God and his life should be lived in accordance with the splendor of this calling. A Christian’s faith should make an impact upon his life, thereby completing his faith, making it fruitful and giving it life:

You see that [Abraham’s] faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did… You see that a person is considered righteous by what they do and not by faith alone… As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead. – James 2:22, 24, 26

Paul gives a very similar exhortation to the Philippians

Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in the one Spiritstriving together as one for the faith of the gospel – Philippians 1:27

As we can see, the way in which the Christian maintained the unity of the Church was very important to Paul. In our Second Reading Paul says that there are a number of things which should characterize the life of a Christian:

1. Humility
2. Gentleness
3. Patience
4. Forbearance
5. Love
6. Unity
7. Peace

Woah… now might be a good moment for an examination of conscience!

…with all humility and gentleness…

In contemporary Greek thought, “humility” wasn’t seen as a virtue. The Christian, on the other hand, views humility as a virtue chiefly because of the example of Christ:

In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:

Who, being in very nature God, 
    did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
rather, he made himself nothing 
    by taking the very nature of a servant
    being made in human likeness. 
And being found in appearance as a man,
    he humbled himself
    by becoming obedient to death —
        even death on a cross! – Philippians 2:5-8

In exhorting us to humility, Paul is exhorting us to imitate Christ.

…with patience, …

Lord give me patience…now!

…bearing with one another through love, striving to preserve the unity of the spirit through the bond of peace: 

Love, which is given by Christ in the Holy Spirit, is the glue which binds Christians together.

…one body…

All believers are united together in one visible Body, the Church:

“What is this one body? They are the faithful throughout the world – in the present, in the past and in the future. …So we too take the term ‘body’ as an expression of unity” – Saint John Chrysostom (A.D. 392-397), Homilies On The Epistle To The Ephesians

…and one Spirit, …

The Spirit animates the body:

The body does exist apart from its enlivening spirit, else it would not be a body. – Saint John Chrysostom (A.D. 392-397), Homilies On The Epistle To The Ephesians

…as you were also called to the one hope of your call;

Paul spoke about this earlier at the beginning of the letter:

And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory. – Ephesians 1:13-14

The Holy Spirit is the deposit on our future glorious inheritance in Heaven.

…one Lord, …

This refers to Jesus, the head of the Body referred to earlier:

If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved – Romans 10:9

The declaring that “Jesus Christ is Lord” was probably the earliest and most primitive Christian creed.

…one faith, …

The Church is to be united in belief:

Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to your care. Turn away from godless chatter and the opposing ideas of what is falsely called knowledge, which some have professed and in so doing have departed from the faith. – 1 Timothy 6:20-21

 I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought. – 1 Corinthians 1:10

We declare a common faith at each Mass when we recite the Nicene Creed.

…one baptism; …

We are joined together in Baptism:

…for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus– Galatians 3:27-29

The Lord is one and God is one, because the dominion of the Father and of the Son is one divinity. Moreover the faith too is said to be one, because we believe likewise in Father and in Son and in Holy Spirit. And there is one Baptism, for it is in one and the same way that we are baptized in the Father and in the Son and in the Holy Spirit. And we are dipped three times so that the one Sacrament of the Trinity may be made apparent. And we are not baptized in the names of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, but in one name, which one name we know to be God – Saint Jerome (A.D. 436), Commentaries On The Epistle To The Ephesians, 2,4,5,6-7

…one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.

We are united into a family.

 


 

Gospel: John 6:1-15

In this year’s Lectionary we are generally reading from Mark. However, for the next five weeks, we will be reading from John’s Gospel. Although we’ve switched Gospels, today’s Reading picks up chronologically from last week, when Jesus took pity on the crowd for “they were like sheep without a shepherd”. In this week’s Gospel the Good Shepherd does what any good shepherd does, He ensures His flock is well-fed. He does this through the multiplication of loaves.

The multiplication of the loaves is the only miracle (apart from the Resurrection) that is recounted in all four Gospels. This demonstrates its significance in the minds of the Evangelists and the Apostolic Church. When the people experienced this miracle, they no doubt thought of the Prophet Elijah who performed a similar miracle, as we heard in our First Reading. However, Jesus’ miracle is superior in three ways:

1. Initial Number of Loaves
Elisha: 20 loaves
Jesus: 5 loaves

2. Number of people
Elisha: 100 men
Jesus:~5,000 men

3. Amount left over
Elisha: “some”
Jesus: 12 baskets

Jesus FTW! This is fitting, given Jesus’ higher status than Elijah:

Observe the difference between the servant and the lord. The Prophets received grace, as it were, by measure, and according to that measure performed their miracles: whereas Christ, working this by His own absolute power, produces a kind of super abundant result – St. John Chrysostom

As mentioned above, the multiplication of loaves points to something even greater which takes place on our altars each Sunday…

Jesus went across the Sea of Galilee. A large crowd followed him, because they saw the signs he was performing on the sick. Jesus went up on the mountain, and there he sat down with his disciples. The Jewish feast of Passover was near. When Jesus raised his eyes and saw that a large crowd was coming to him, he said to Philip, “Where can we buy enough food for them to eat?” He said this to test him, because he himself knew what he was going to do. Philip answered him, “Two hundred days?’ wages worth of food would not be enough for each of them to have a little.'” One of his disciples, Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, said to him, “There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish; but what good are these for so many?” Jesus said, “Have the people recline.” Now there was a great deal of grass in that place. So the men reclined, about five thousand in number. Then Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed them to those who were reclining, and also as much of the fish as they wanted. When they had had their fill, he said to his disciples, “Gather the fragments left over, so that nothing will be wasted.” So they collected them, and filled twelve wicker baskets with fragments from the five barley loaves that had been more than they could eat. When the people saw the sign he had done, they said, “This is truly the Prophet, the one who is to come into the world.” Since Jesus knew that they were going to come and carry him off to make him king, he withdrew again to the mountain alone.

feeding of the five thousand

Questions:

  • Why is the crowd following Jesus at the moment?
  • What question does Jesus ask?
  • What responses does He receive?
  • What does Jesus tell them to do?
  • What does He Himself then do? Where do we find this pattern repeated?
  • How much is left over. What is the significance of this?
  • How do the people react?
  • Who is the “prophet” they speak of?
  • What do the people want to do? How does Jesus respond to this?
  • What is the spiritual lesson of this Gospel? To what does this passage point?

Commentary:

Jesus went across the Sea of Galilee.

In some Bibles you may find it say the “Sea of Tiberias”:

This sea has different names, from the different places with which it is connected; the sea of Galilee, from the province; the sea of Tiberias, from the city of that name. It is called a sea, though it is not salt water, that name being applied to all large pieces of water, in Hebrew. This sea our Lord often passes over, in going to preach to the people bordering on it. – Alcuin

The “Sea of Tiberias” was probably its official Roman name, whereas “Sea of Galilee” was probably its popular name.

A large crowd followed him, because they saw the signs he was performing on the sick.

The crowd is attracted by these miracles:

He goes from place to place to try the dispositions of people, and excite a desire to hear Him: And a great multitude followed Him, because they saw His miracles which He did on them that were diseased. – Theophyl

The synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark & Luke)  give details concerning these miracles, but John does not.

Observe, in a whole year, the Evangelist has told us of no miracles of Christ, except His healing the impotent man, and the nobleman’s son. His object was to give not a regular history, but only a few of the principal acts of our Lord – St. John Chrysostom

Instead, John describes only seven miracles:

      1. Turning water into wine at Cana (John 2:1-11)
      2. Healing of the Official’s son (John 4:46-54)
      3. Healing of the cripple at the Pool of Bathesda (John 5:1-18)
      4. Feeding of the multitude (John 6:5-14)
      5. Healing of the blind man (John 9:1-7)
      6. Raising of Lazarus (John 11:1-45)

He also uses the word “sign” rather than “miracle”. This is because John wants to show us that these miracles point to realities beyond that of the current situation.

His giving sight to the blind, and other like miracles. And it should be understood, that all, whom He healed in body, He renewed likewise in soul. – Alcuin

Jesus went up on the mountain, and there he sat down with his disciples.

In the Old Testament, many encounters with God take place on Mountains. It is on Mt. Sinai that the Ten Commandments are given to Moses. It is at the Sermon on the Mount that Jesus gives the Beatitudes.

The Jewish feast of Passover was near.

The Passover was the feast of the Jewish people which commemorated their deliverance from slavery in Exodus (Exodus 12). John mentions three Passovers in his Gospel:

1.  Cleansing of the Temple after the wedding of Cana (John 2:13-23)
2. Today’s Reading (John 6:4)
3. The Crucifixion (John 11:55)

The Last Supper and the Crucifixion will take place on Passover when Jesus, the “lamb of God” (John 1:29) will free mankind from slavery of sin. Jesus will transform the Passover celebration into the celebration of the Eucharist.

His refreshing the people shortly before the Passover signifies our refreshment by the bread of the divine word; and the body and blood, i.e. our spiritual passover, by which we pass over from vice to virtue – Alcuin

When Jesus raised his eyes and saw that a large crowd was coming to him, …

Jesus has fed them with His teaching and He will now do the same with food. Note here the parallel with the Mass: Liturgy of Word and then Liturgy of the Eucharist.

he said to Philip, “Where can we buy enough food for them to eat?” 

It is appropriate that Jesus asked Philip since he came from nearby Bethsaida. It’s always good to ask a local where to eat… 😉

Remember that a couple of weeks ago Jesus had sent the Twelve out to preach and heal. When he did this, He taught them to rely on providence:

 These were his instructions: “Take nothing for the journey except a staff—no bread, no bag, no money in your belts – Mark 6:8

Had they yet learnt to trust in God’s providence?

(There is another parallels with Moses here: Numbers 11:13-15).

He said this to test him, because he himself knew what he was going to do.

Jesus knew what was going to happen:

He was not ignorant of His disciple’s heart Himself – Theophyl

One kind of temptation leads to sin, with which God never tempts any one; and there is another kind by which faith is tried. In this sense it is said that Christ proved His disciple. This is not meant to imply that He did not know what Philip would say; but is an accommodation to men’s way of speaking – St. Augustine

But why did He ask Philip that question? Because He knew that His disciples, and he especially, needed further teaching… And if the miracle had been performed at once, without any introduction, the greatness of it would not have been seen. The disciples were made to confess their own inability, that they might see the miracle more clearly; And this He said to prove him. – St. John Chrysostom

Philip answered him, “Two hundred days?’ wages worth of food would not be enough for each of them to have a little.'”

This would have been about two hundred denarii.

Thus tried by our Lord, Philip was found to be possessed which human notions – Theophyl

(Again, there is a very similar response to the episode with Moses: Numbers 11:22)

One of his disciples, Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, said to him, “There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish; but what good are these for so many?”

Barley loaves were the food of the poor. Andrew steps up and offers what they have…but then doubts 🙁

Andrew is in the same perplexity that Philip is; only he has rather higher notions of our Lord – Theophyl

Probably He had some reason in his mind for this speech. He would know of Elijah’s miracle, by which a hundred men were fed with twenty loaves. This was a great step; but here he stopped. He did not rise any higher. For his next words are, But what are these among so many? He thought that less could produce less in a miracle, and more more; a great mistake – St. John Chrysostom

The Early Church Fathers saw spiritual meanings in the boy and the gifts offered:

1. The Barley

Barley is the food of cattle and slaves: and the old law was given to slaves and cattle, i.e. to carnal men… And well is it said, “But what are these among so many?” The Law was of little avail, till He took it into His hand, i.e. fulfilled it, and gave it a spiritual meaning. The Law made nothing perfect – St. Bede

The five barley loaves signify the old law; either because the law was given to men not as yet spiritual, but carnal, i.e. under the dominion of the five senses, (the multitude itself consisted of five thousand:) or because the Law itself was given by Moses in five books. And the loaves being of barley is also an allusion to the Law, which concealed the soul’s vital nourishment, under carnal ceremonies. For in barley the corn itself is buried under the most tenacious husk. Or, it alludes to the people who were not yet freed from the husk of carnal appetite, which cling to their heart. – St. Augustine

2. The Fish

The two fishes again, that gave the pleasant taste to the bread, seem to signify the two authorities by which the people were governed, the Royal, viz. and the Priestly; both of which prefigure our Lord, who sustained both characters – St. Augustine

Or, by the two fishes are meant the saying or writings of the Prophets, and the Psalmist  – St. Bede

3. The Boy

The boy who had these is perhaps the Jewish people, who, as it were, carried the loaves and fishes after a servile fashion, and did not eat them. That which they carried, while shut up, was only a burden to them; when opened became their food – St. Augustine

In summary:

The five loaves are the five books of the Torah, the two fish are the Prophets and Psalms, and the young boy is the Jewish people. When Jesus receives these OT Scriptures from the Jews, he breaks open their deeper, spiritual meanings to refresh the multitudes – St. Bede, Hom. in Evan.

Jesus said, “Have the people recline.”

This was the custom:

Sit down, i.e. lie down, as the ancient custom was, which they could do, as there was much grass in the place. – Alcuin

Now there was a great deal of grass in that place.

Since we know it was Passover, we know it was springtime.

It was the time of the Passover, which was kept the first month of the spring – Theophyl

I’m reminded of our psalm from last week where we are told that the Lord lays his sheep down “in green pastures”.

So the men reclined, about five thousand in number.

This number does not include women and children:

The number of those who ate was about five thousand men, besides women and children – Matthew 14:21

So the number He fed was even greater!

Then Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed them to those who were reclining, and also as much of the fish as they wanted.

The Synoptic Gospels add the detail that it was the Apostles who did the distributing, as Jesus allows them to participate in His ministry.

The Greek verb for “gave thanks” in Greek is “eucharisteo”, from which we derive the word “Eucharist”. In fact, the same sequence of events is described here as described at the Last Supper: “took…thanks…distributed..” (Matthew 26:26; Mark 14:22; Luke 22:19; 1 Corinthians 11:25). It is clear that the Evangelists have the Last Supper in mind as they speak about this.

He multiplied in His hands the five loaves, just as He produces harvest out of a few grains. There was a power in the hands of Christ; and those five loaves were, as it were, seeds, not indeed committed to the earth, but multiplied by Him who made the earth. – St. Augustine

In multiplying the bread (matter), we have definitive proof of the goodness of creation:

This passage confounds the Manicheans, who say that bread and all such things were created by an evil Deity. The Son of the good God, Jesus Christ, multiplied the loaves. Therefore they could not have been naturally evil; a good God would never have multiplied what was evil. – Theophyl

When they had had their fill, he said to his disciples, “Gather the fragments left over, so that nothing will be wasted.” So they collected them, and filled twelve wicker baskets with fragments from the five barley loaves that had been more than they could eat.

Notice that in the text John focuses on the bread, not mentioning the fish. This is because he is using this incident to focus upon the Eucharist and prepare his readers for the “Bread of Life” discourse which comes up next.

loaves and fishes mosaic

The “baskets” were possibly the lunch baskets worn by the Apostles. The fact that there are twelve baskets full points back again to Moses and the Twelve Tribes of Israel and the Manna (also remember that nothing was to be wasted at the Passover either). I once heard it said that there was a ciborium per apostle!

Therefore they gathered them together, and filled twelve baskets with the fragments. This was not done for needless ostentation, but to prevent men from thinking the whole a delusion; which was the reason why He made use of an existing material to work from. But why did He give the fragments to His disciples to carry away, and not to the multitude? Because the disciples were to be the teachers of the world, and therefore it was most important that the truth should be impressed upon them –  St. John Chrysostom

And what are the fragments, but the parts which the people could not eat? An intimation, that those deeper truths, which the multitude cannot take in, should be entrusted to those who are capable of receiving them, and afterwards teaching them to others; as were the Apostles. For which reason twelve baskets were filled with them. – St. Augustine

Baskets are used for servile work. The baskets here are the Apostles and their followers, who, though despised in this present life, are within filled with the riches of spiritual sacraments. The Apostles too are represented as baskets, because, that through them, the doctrine of the Trinity was to be preached in the four parts of the world. His not making new loaves, but multiplying what there were, means that He did not reject the Old Testament, but only developed and explained it. – Alcuin

When the people saw the sign he had done, they said, “This is truly the Prophet, the one who is to come into the world.”

The people are referring to the prophecy of Moses:

The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your fellow Israelites. You must listen to him – Deuteronomy 18:15

When John the Baptist appeared, people wanted to know if he was this prophet:

They asked him, “Then who are you? Are you Elijah?”

He said, “I am not.”

Are you the Prophet?”

He answered, “No.” – John 1:21

Jesus was indeed the Prophet, but much more than a prophet:

Their expression, that should come into the world, shows that they expected the arrival of some great Prophet. And this is why they say, “This is of a truth that Prophet”: the article being put in the Greek, to show that He was distinct from other Prophets. – St. John Chrysostom

Their faith being as yet weak, they only call our Lord a Prophet not knowing that He was God. But the miracle had produced considerable effect upon them, as it made them call our Lord that Prophet, singling Him out from the rest. They call Him a Prophet, because some of the Prophets had worked miracles; and properly, inasmuch as our Lord calls Himself a Prophet; It cannot be that a prophet perish out of Jerusalem. – Alcuin

Since Jesus knew that they were going to come and carry him off to make him king, he withdrew again to the mountain alone.

In wanting to to avoid the cross and make Him earthly king, the crowd imitate Satan (and Peter when he tries to prevent Jesus from going to the cross):

Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.” Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’” – Matthew 4:8-10

Jesus’ kingdom is not of this world:

Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jewish leaders. But now my kingdom is from another place.” – John 18:36

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