The Pharisees went out and took counsel against Jesus
to put him to death.
When Jesus realized this, he withdrew from that place.
Many people followed him, and he cured them all,
but he warned them not to make him known.
This was to fulfill what had been spoken through Isaiah the prophet:
Behold, my servant whom I have chosen,
my beloved in whom I delight;
I shall place my Spirit upon him,
and he will proclaim justice to the Gentiles.
He will not contend or cry out,
nor will anyone hear his voice in the streets.
A bruised reed he will not break,
a smoldering wick he will not quench,
until he brings justice to victory.
And in his name the Gentiles will hope.
When Jesus realized this he withdrew from this place. To withdraw can have several meanings. It can mean to take back, to turn away,or to remove from consideration. It can also take on one of these meanings while implying some of the subtler nuances. Clearly when Jesus withdraws from that place he exits from the Pharisees location, yet when he exits their location might he not also be withdrawing from their position on God?
His physical exit might also be a theological exit. To play on words a bit more , what are the consequences of withdrawing or making an exit? The gospel clearly states that if he did not exit from the Pharisees, death awaited him. In denying death, Jesus withdraws or makes an exit. An exit is a way out, a door,a passage, or a portal. If an exit is a way out of something, it also is an entrance into something else. If Jesus withdrew from the Pharisees, if he made an exit from them: What did he enter into? The gospel states that after his Exodus from the Pharisees, he healed many. Those who exited with him were healed. On one side of that portal was the threat of death, and on the other there was salvation.
When the Hebrews made their exit from Egypt, they too were withdrawing from a culture that offered little for them. In their exit they entered into the promise of a new land of hope and prosperity. When Jesus and his disciples exit the Pharisees, they also enter into something new. Jesus withdraw is not simply out of fear, but also the anticipation of reward. Is the glass half full, or is it half empty? In exiting the Old, or withdrawing from the Old: one enters the New. One can not enter into something, without leaving something behind. In order to enter the Kingdom of God, one has to exit an Earthly kingdom.