“Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”
It didn’t work, but Jesus tried! The apostles were reporting on their missionary travels, but the constant flow of people prevented them from having a chance to eat. Fully aware of their needs, Jesus invited them to go away with him to a quiet place. They all needed rest.
Notice that Jesus invited them to come with him. He needed some leisure time too. He wanted to spend restful time together. So they boarded a boat and headed to a solitary place. But it didn’t work. A large crowd arrived before Jesus did. His compassion won out when he saw that they were “like sheep without a shepherd,” a wandering flock. So he did what had to be done—he taught them many things they needed to know.
Here we learn what Jesus knew about groups such as his disciples or families. In order to maintain healthy relationships, they needed to have leisure time—together! Jesus didn’t instruct the disciples to go for solitary walks or rent a hotel to sleep for three days. He invited them to come with him and get the required rest.
In our world of busyness we will do well to accept Jesus’ invitation. We need to relax together with him and simply enjoy each other’s calm company. Doing so soothes sorrowing minds and restores weary bodies. “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened,” says Jesus, “and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).
Jesus, thank you for your invitation to join you and others for a time of rest. We need the sustenance it provides as much as the food and drink we receive from you. Amen.
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