Matthew 8:18: Now when Jesus saw great multitudes about him, he gave commandment to depart unto the other side.
Now when Jesus saw great multitudes about him, he gave commandment to depart unto the other side. He ran away from popularity. Having healed all that were sick, the royal Physician sought to begin practice on fresh ground. He saw the crowds becoming dangerous, and perhaps too enthusiastic, and so he took ship for the further shore to be away from their rash acts. Too often we court the notoriety which our Lord avoided. Is it not because we are swayed by inferior motives, which had no power over him? We ought not to keep to the side where we get flattery, but we should “depart unto the other side” to begin fresh work. Moreover, “the other side” may be the side which needs us most, and it is right even to leave a multitude which have had their share of privilege to go to a smaller company who have had no time of gracious opportunity.
(from The Gospel of the Kingdom: An Exposition of the Gospel of Matthew by Charles Spurgeon)