Matthew 14:1-21; Leviticus 20-21; Proverbs 30
There is this false belief that if you follow God and do whatever He says that nothing bad will happen to you because God will protect you. John’s imprisonment was a direct result of preaching God’s law and confronting the ruler with it. (If you read the passages above, Leviticus 20:21 is what John was telling Herod.) The outcome of John’s preaching was his death. “When Jesus heard it, He departed from there by boat to a deserted place by Himself. But when the multitudes heard it, they followed Him on foot from the cities.” (Matthew 14:13) As important as relationships are, when Jesus heard about John He wanted to be alone. The problem for Jesus was that the needs continued. When Jesus went to be alone, He was followed by thousands of His closest friends who all wanted something. They wanted to see Him or touch Him. They wanted healing or forgiveness. And Jesus, being Jesus, left His solitude to minister and heal. It was out of this relationship with the people that we learn about the miracle of the feeding of the five thousand (plus). Sometimes the priest can’t defile himself. (Leviticus 21:1ff) Sometimes the minister can’t be alone in their own grief. People have needs and we are called to minister in the difficult times.
Oh Lord, give me the grace to minister to others when I would rather be alone with You. Help me to see the needs of others and give me the strength to help them when I would rather be with You. Most of all, help me to realize that when I am helping others in Your name, I am spending time with You.