Mark 6:44-46 (NIV)
The number of the men who had eaten was five thousand.  Immediately Jesus made his disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to Bethsaida, while he dismissed the crowd.  After leaving them, he went up on a mountainside to pray.
People have noticed the breakneck pace of Mark’s story. Jesus moves immediately. The pace is direct and efficient. He gets stuff done.
The people counted in feed up time were men. Most biblical historians suggest that there would be about 4 women and children for each man–so the meal may have been 25000 people.
But the details are as interesting as the big stuff.
1. They cleaned and organized– leftovers are gathered and counted
2. Jesus sends his disciples on ahead immediately.
3. While he dismissed the crowd? Benedictions, personal instructions. What does it look like when the God who loves you tells you to return home?
Then he went home too. Jesus missed the close time with God, so he prayed. He prayed to maintain relationship. He prayed for rest and comfort. He prayed for us.
Glad he did. I need it.