Jesus departed with His disciples to the sea…
Jesus had one mission in life and that was doing the work His Father had sent Him to do. He didn’t desire to be a spectacle, to be seen as He did the work the Father sent Him to do: healing the sick, raising the dead, and blessing people.
However, because He did some of this on the Sabbath He upset the church leaders, the Pharisees. Soon, they made a plot to get rid of Jesus.
Have you ever wanted to just be left alone to do your job? Jesus was sent by the Father to redeem us from all our sins. He could have had His logo embroidered on His robe: JESUS SON OF GOD. However, He was on a mission and didn’t want to be hindered.
Matthew tells us that Jesus had already upset the apple cart by defending His disciples’ choice to pluck and eat grains on the Sabbath. There was no Old Testament prohibition for this, but the Pharisees (trouble-makers) based their presumption on what we call "old wives tales" or "this has never been done by godly people." Because Jesus kept on doing God's work on the Sabbath the Pharisees decided to do him in. You know, kill Him.
Jesus was courageous, but not careless. Sometimes we may be on the right track with some theological issue or even a disagreement about defining sin, but we don't have sense enough to with draw our comments and let God speak. We, unlike Jesus, want to draw attention to ourselves. We put in extra hours at church or doing good, often to our own determent, spiritual growth, and neglect of our families.
Jesus' conception of Messiahship was very different from that of the conventional expectations. He chose to quote Isaiah 41:1-4, the longest Old Testament scripture in the gospel. In that scripture, He made reference to the Gentiles, letting the Jews know that God's grace extend beyond borders of ethic.
His purpose was to point to the Father. However much He spoke to the people and loved them, He wanted to be still and rest. But in Matthew 12:18-21, He let the crowds know who He was and His purpose.
Mark tells a story in chapter 3:7-12.
If you knew someone was plotting to kill, would you go into hiding or seek a safe place? What would you do under pressure? Jesus had an uncanny sense of the rhythm of life. How often we forget the expression "all work and no play" isn’t good for us.
WORK, REST, WORSHIP, and PLAY are part of a healthy life. They help us be the best we can be or accomplish more in our work. Unlike work and rest, worship and play are not means to an end. Worship helps us keep our spiritual perspective. Play restores our creative energies.
Jesus decided He needed a break from all the questioning and accusations, so He headed for the lake! There’s no better place to rest and relax than a boat in the water, away from the crowd. Each of us should have a "Sea of Galilee." It could be a hobby, a sport, or just a quiet spot to rest.
I don't think we can measure up to Jesus just yet. If He needed to take a break, so do we. Jesus got in a boat to get away. He didn't have to wait for someone to go get the boat. He told His disciples they were to keep a small boat available all the time.
You can't take a crowd with you in a small boat. Jesus needed to refresh His spirit and the human body He was in, so having a boat ready for Him was a necessity.
Ask yourself today if all your church work, activity, and non-stop do-gooding to exhaustion are about Him or you. As you find your place of rest, let it remind you of the waves of the sea, love unending, washing over your life and refreshing your spirit.
- Why do you think Jesus, the Son of God, needed to get away from people to rest?
- Do you have someone to help you guard your time when you need to retreat from life?
- "Burn Out" is an expression we often use. Are you burning out and why?
- "Keep a boat ready" for your life. Determine to dwell on this a while.