De apostelen kwamen samen met Jezus
en rapporteerde alles wat ze hadden gedaan en geleerd.
Hij zei tegen hen,
"Kom zelf naar een verlaten plek en rust een poosje uit."
Mensen kwamen massaal aan en uit,
en ze hadden zelfs geen gelegenheid om te eten.
Dus gingen ze alleen in de boot naar een verlaten plek.
People saw them leaving and many came to know about it.
Ze haastten zich te voet vanuit alle steden
en kwam op de plaats vóór hen. Toen hij van boord ging en de enorme menigte zag,
zijn hart was ontroerd met medelijden,
want zij waren als schapen zonder herder;
en hij begon hun veel dingen te leren.
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This gospel is about personal restoration and sometimes working extra even when you are tired, because it is required. Because we don’t have control when opportunities arise and it is important that we step up to take advantage of them.
Just before this reading, we had Jesus sending out his disciples in pairs (see my last post XCHARX XCHARXThe Buddy SystemXCHARX) to proclaim JesusXCHARX message to nearby cities. After having gone out to these cities, the 12 disciples came back to where Jesus was XCHARX feeling pretty good about themselves, I would imagine.
Think about it – Jesus had just given them a task to go out and teach. They had done what he had said and had their own news to report. Imagine being able to come back to Jesus and say things like:
- "Er waren veel mensen die jouw boodschap in Cana geloofden!"
- "We waren in staat om iemand te genezen met een gebroken been is Capernum!"
- "Mensen verwelkomden ons in hun huis in Tiberias!"
Just like a mother would be proud if she asked her child to do something difficult, Jesus was proud of his disciples and wanted to hear what they had accomplished. Similarly, right now I’m on vacation from being in my office. When I get back to the office, I want to know what my employees have done. And if they have done good work – they will report to me of their accomplishments.
This about this in your life – when you complete a project – does it make you proud? Don’t you feel good that you accomplished something? It should. But if was hard work, you often want to rest once you are done.
After reporting to Jesus all they had accomplished, all they had done, and completing the long trips to these cities and back, I imagine all of the disciples wanted to take a deep breath and relax for a bit. They wanted to rest to have their energy restored.
God told us early on in Genesis that we should do this as well. He tells us to only work 6 days a week and then rest on the Sabbath. The Sabbath is the day that he wants us to restore ourselves and also to think about Him. But rest isnXCHARXt solely limited to the Sabbath. Sometimes after working really hard to accomplish a goal, we need rest to recharge our batteries. Jesus knew this as well.
To get away, Jesus and his disciples decided to take a boat ride to “a deserted place”. They thought this would be a vacation weg van alles. But no. The people who heard Jesus wanted to hear more. I imagine that many of the people the disciples had visited in the far away cities wanted to see who this “master” the disciples had been talking about was. So even as they got to their place of rest, lots of people found out where Jesus was and wanted to hear more.
When Jesus saw these “vast crowd”, he reconsidered his and his disciples need for rest. The gospel says “they were like sheep without a shepherd”. Jesus saw they needed his message more than he needed rest. Even if he was tired, he saw had work to do.
For the last 10 years of his life, every email that my own father would send me ended with a quote from a book XCHARXThe Art of WarXCHARX by Sun Tzu. The quote was:
"Kansen meerdere als ze zijn opgenomen"
Jesus knew that this vast crowd – thousands of people, the gospels tell us – had hearts that needed to hear his teaching. This was a great opportunity. It wouldn’t have been wrong for Jesus and the disciples to rest at this time, but Jesus took the role of being a servant leader. Instead of wasting the opportunity and thinking only of his and his disciples need for rest, Jesus rallied his energy and made the decision to teach people who needed it. This helped spread the gospel to allow many people to believe more in him.
Dit is precies wat Jezus ons laat zien als een dienende leider. Vaak is het gemakkelijk om te zeggen dat we een pauze nodig hebben of dat we al genoeg hebben gedaan. Wanneer God mogelijkheden opent om anderen te dienen, moeten we onze energie verzamelen voor de taak. Door mensen te dienen helpen we Gods koninkrijk hier op aarde een beetje dichterbij te brengen.