The story shows no effort to exploit the extraordinary aspect of the miracle. In particular, it says nothing about how the miracle was worked. We know only that the guests ate and were ﬁlled…
The episode is calculated by its very nature to recall the miracle of the manna in the wilderness (Ex 16:1-18) and to elicit the question of the kingdom and the identity of Jesus. At the same time, however, it is important to observe that although Jesus is conscious of his messiahship, he dissociates himself from the idea of a political Messiah that was current in Israel.
To make clear his opposition to this idea he avoids the attempts of the crowd to make him king, and withdraws alone to the mountain to pray. He thus breaks with the ancient and current conception of the Messiah and the kingdom. The inability of the disciples to understand is likewise in contrast with the status of the apostles in the Church.
The points that call for explanation are these:
(a) Why was Jesus considered, after this event, to be a great prophet (Mk 8:29), and even as the prophet whom the entire nation was awaiting (John:14) and whom it wished to proclaim king (John 6:14-15)? Why this dangerous explosion of political messianism?
(b) Why did Jesus compel the disciples to embark immediately, while he was dismissing the crowd, as though forcing them to abandon something (a dream!) very dear to them (Mk 6:45)?
The Miracles of Jesus and the Theology of Miracles, Rene Latourelle, p.76