Sunday, April 26
Scripture: 2 Samuel 2, 1 Chronicles 11, Psalm 142, Matthew 14
Matthew 14:13–14 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. 14 Jesus saw the huge crowd as he stepped from the boat, and he had compassion on them and healed their sick.
When Jesus heard the news that John the Baptist had been murdered by Herod, he left to be alone, no doubt to grieve. He needed some time alone, time to refill—I call it my time. But it was not to be. The crowds heard where he was going and followed, interrupting his solitude.
If it had been me, I would have packed up and left again. Not Jesus. He had compassion on the crowd (see Matthew 9:36-38 and my blog from April 21), and healed their sick.
This lasted all day until evening, when the disciples came and asked Jesus to “send them away” to get food. Jesus refused, and instead said, “You feed them.” The astonished disciples asked, “With what?” And the miraculous feeding of 5000 followed.
I love Jesus. I love His compassion for people. I love His selflessness.
Jesus allowed His compassion for others to trump His own need for solitude, my time. I’m very selfish about my time, especially my time—my time to rest, to refresh, to refill. I give a lot to others, then I need time to replenish. When others intrude or interrupt my time, I find myself resenting them, wanting (like the disciples) to send them away, or disengaging and getting away myself. I want to be more like Jesus, willing to sacrifice my time to meet the needs of others. Willing to be selfless.
I know the importance of boundaries. I know there are times we need to set a boundary and stick to it. Eventually, after feeding everyone, Jesus did send them all home, sent the disciples across the lake, and retreated to the mountain to pray alone. Jesus got to my time, He practiced appropriate self-care. BUT (it’s a big but!)—if we’re not careful, boundaries and self-care can become a cover for selfishness. Jesus could have easily refused to engage the crowd, citing His own genuine need for solitude to grieve—but He didn’t. He had compassion and was selfless—then He took care of Himself.
I love my time. I need my time. But I also want to be willing to set aside my time to compassionately and selflessly serve others when called for. Help me Lord!
Prayer: Help me Lord! Help me to be more like You—more compassionate, more selfless.