Exodus 1-3 Matthew 14:1-21
“When Jesus heard what had happened to John, he left in a boat and went to a lonely place by himself. But the crowds heard about it and followed him on foot from the towns. When he arrived, he saw a great crowd waiting. He felt sorry for them and healed those who were sick.” (Matthew 14:13-14 NCV)
God’s prophets didn’t last long in public. As they proclaimed God’s message, they invariably ticked off the powerful people. John preached against Herod’s marriage to his brother’s former wife. He preached enough, that Herod put him in prison. He wanted to kill John, but was afraid to follow through, until his wife’s daughter brought such joy with a dance before their friends, that he offered her anything, and with her mother’s counsel, got John’s head on a platter. This upset Jesus and He needed some alone time. Only the crowds followed Him. They gathered from the surrounding towns and when Jesus arrived in His boat, the crowds surrounded Him. Jesus shifted gears and felt sorry for them, and started healing. Later, this crowd would be counted at 5000 men, along with women and children as Jesus fed them using five loaves and two fish.
Jesus needed some time alone. While it appears that He had a place picked out, His alone time seemed to be that time He spent on the boat. It seems that any time Jesus has that time alone with the Father, He gets immersed in ministry. When you’re obedient to God’s call on your life, that alone time that other people crave isn’t an option. You may get a short time to spend with God, but God’s call to ministry is a call on the lives of all believers. The harvest is out there. Hurting people need to know God’s love, and we’re the ones called to bring it to them.
Lord, there are times when I just don’t want to be around people. As I draw closer to You, though, I realize that You love every one of those people I want to avoid. Help me love them like You do.
Scripture taken from the New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.