Take a Break with Jesus
The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to him all they had done and taught. Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place. But many who saw them leaving recognized them and ran on foot from all the towns and got there ahead of them. When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things.
Everyone needs a break from people, even those who regularly serve people. A doctor cannot always be with patients. A teacher cannot always be with students. Even Jesus took time away from the crowds of people who were coming to see him. He did this to be with his disciples. He did this to show his closest followers some one-on-one attention. Jesus said, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”
How does such an invitation sound to you? You who pour yourself into service to others. You who cry for others, worry about others, seek to reach out and help others. Take a break from those others. Remember God loves you. Remember how Jesus died on the cross for you. Remember how he rose from the dead to guarantee your forgiveness and a place in heaven with him. When we lose patience with others, feel anger, disgust, or even hatred toward others, Jesus is near in his Word, calling us to take a break with him. In our busy lives of service, we too need to be served by the Word. We need to lay our guilt and our burdens at the foot of his cross, and let the Scriptures remind us again of Jesus’ love for each individual.
Here we see the extent of Jesus’ human nature. The Son of God became true man in every sense of the word. Unlike us, Jesus served people perfectly. But like us, Jesus needed a break from people. Jesus’ escape from people was never permanent. “When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things.” Back to work Jesus goes! Faithfully serving others in love, Jesus’ compassion led him to teach others one at a time. That’s how Jesus teaches us in the Word.
May the few moments you have spent with Jesus in the Word today strengthen you in your service to others.
Compassionate Lord, I thank you for the time you have spent with me today in your Word. May the love and attention you have shown me, help me to show love and attention to those I meet today. Amen.
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