Be Still Know
Matthew 14.13-14 NLT
‘As soon as Jesus heard the news, he left in a boat to a remote area to be alone. But the crowds heard where he was headed and followed on foot from many towns. Jesus saw the huge crowd as he stepped from the boat, and he had compassion on them and healed their sick.’
The background to this story is the gruesome murder of John the Baptist. Herod Antipas was the ruler of Galilee at the time. He is not to be confused with his father Herod the Great who was king at the time of Jesus’ birth. Herod Antipas had married his half-brother’s wife and John the Baptist had bravely spoken out against the marriage. This had greatly angered Herod but he was fearful of taking any action against John because everyone spoke so well of him.
One day Herod’s daughter had a birthday party at which she danced so beautifully that he promised unwisely to give her whatever she asked for. Herod’s new wife knew exactly what she wanted and prompted Herodias to ask for the head of John the Baptist
on a tray. Herod was a man of his word and that is what she got. It’s a gory story and Jesus was clearly shocked and saddened by the appalling news of his cousin’s death. It’s not surprising that his response was to get away from the area on a boat to a remote place so that he could be alone.
Sadly, Jesus’ plan didn’t work out. Far from allowing him space to cope with his bereavement, the people followed Jesus to the other side of the lake and there he was met by a huge crowd. He could have pleaded with the people to give him some space. It was only reasonable that he should have some time to himself. But no, when Jesus saw the people he had compassion on them and had to respond to their needs. Jesus came to be a servant and in this moment when he desperately needed to be served, he insisted on serving the people. As we live for God it is important for us to make sure that we are walking in Jesus’ footsteps of service. Like Jesus, there are times when we desperately need a rest, but we have to remember that first of all we are servants.
QUESTION: What do you learn from Jesus’ example in this story?
PRAYER: Loving God, thank you for the privilege of serving you. Help me to be ready to serve you at any time, even when it’s not convenient. Amen
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