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.”
Can you hear the heart of Jesus in that statement? “…get some rest.” This comes in the middle of some chaos. His [disciples] were grieving, as He was, the loss of their dear friend, John the Baptist, who had been senselessly beheaded. And then the needs of the people seem to be greater than ever. They were clamoring for their time and attention. “…so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat…” Does your Sunday ever feel like that? So much coming and going? So overwhelming? If so, take a deep breath, and hear the invitation of our Lord: “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” For them, the place was a boat ride across the water. For you and me, it may be a quiet empty small group room or office before a service. It’s really wherever you can manage to be alone with God and yourself. Solitude and silence, the secret place of rest is waiting for you. The needs of the people will be there when you get back, but right now, more than anything, we need to be with Jesus and let him care for us so that later we can “give them something to eat” (Mark 3:37).
Then He said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.”
Anytime I’ve practiced what Jesus practiced, it makes a massive difference in my life. I am beginning to believe that Jesus knows what He’s talking about and understands me more than I do. And when it comes to Sabbath rest, it’s incredible how beneficial it is to the overall health and fruitfulness of my life. As with all the disciplines of the spiritual life, we don’t need to get too heavy or guilt ridden at all about it, but in childlike trust, simply do them and enjoy the process. We need to remember that they are there for us. Let’s drop the burden of managing our image and reputation and follow Jesus as our example. The result will be to grow into Christlikeness and Kingdom power. We NEED Him. He just loves us, and likes our company. He wants us to enjoy Him and the life He offers each of us.
-Seth Condrey, North Point Worship