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 mountain to pray. – Mark 6:45-46
Earlier, when the disciples returned from their mission trip fired up with enthusiasm Jesus told them they needed to get away to rest. He was guarding their emotional well being as well as calling them to solitude and prayer.
They weren’t able to rest because when they arrived at the place of rest the people who saw where they were going ran fast and beat them there. Moved with compassion they ministered among the people with Jesus until it was late in the day. Then the miracle of the loaves and fishes was performed and all were fed.
After the feeding Jesus immediately sent the disciples away on a boat. He knew they needed rest so he sent them away while he dismissed the crowd. Jesus knew they needed the rest and he needed to get away for his “spiritual” rest also.
There are several times recorded in the gospels when Jesus got away to pray. It was usually on a mountain and he usually prayed in solitude. Have you ever wondered why Jesus needed to pray? If in fact he was God, then why would he need to pray? Yes, he was God, but he was God robed in flesh. As a human he had all of the emotional and spiritual needs that humans have. As a human he needed to pray.
The message Jesus seems to be conveying in this episode is that as humans we need times of rest and that is why he sent the disciples away in a boat. He is also saying that as citizens of the kingdom and servants of the king we need spiritual refreshing to guard against emotional and spiritual weariness. We need physical rest and we need spiritual refreshing. We need to pray.
If you do not have a time and a place to shut yourself away for spiritual refreshing I challenge you to do so. You will find the world much less troublesome and the walk of faith much easier when you pray.
Prayer: Lord, grant me the wisdom to know when I need to rest and help me to establish a regular pattern prayer. In Jesus name, amen.
Principle: As citizens of the kingdom and servants of the king we need spiritual refreshing to guard against emotional and spiritual weariness. We need physical rest and we need spiritual refreshing. We need to pray.
Affirmation: I am committed to guarding myself against spiritual weariness by making time for periods of solitude, prayer and reflection upon the word of God and the teachings of Jesus.
Reflection: In another place Jesus made the point that God did not make the Sabbath for himself but for man. God knows we need times of sabbath (rest). Have you established times of rest and refreshing in your life?