Now when Jesus heard this, he withdrew from there in a boat to a deserted place by himself. But when the crowds heard it, they followed him on foot from the towns.” vs. 13Matthew 14:13-14
John the Baptist had been killed while in the custody of King Herod at Machereus, a palace east of the Dead Sea, and it didn’t take long for the news to travel to where Jesus was doing ministry at the north end of the Sea of Galilee. John’s death was a big deal – his hundreds of followers were a threat to Herod, and some believed it wouldn’t be long before he fixed his attention on Jesus. It’s not that Jesus feared Herod, but it’s likely he didn’t want to get caught up in what had become a political struggle for power. At the very least he needed a chance to collect his thoughts and take time for prayer away from the crowds. The problem is that it’s hard to hide on the Sea of Galilee – anyone could easily see where his boat was heading from the shore. So they hurried around the lake by foot and a large crowd was waiting for him when he landed. Some of us know what that’s like. We desperately need time for meditation and reflection – some sneak away on vacations – and the isolation and refuge we need doesn’t happen. Our forced busyness can drive us to distraction! Interestingly, when Jesus saw the crowd he had compassion for them, and kept doing his healing and teaching. His ministry was more important than his personal needs!
Thought for the Day: When have I gotten compassion fatigue?