Still pondering the hard week...the helpless feeling...so many needs and not enough answers.
Pondering today from a different vantage point, a place of rest. Jesus' words all important and timely.
"Come with Me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest."
What was the context of Jesus' directive to His disciples in Mark 6:31?
The twelve had been sent out by Jesus two by two to minister to the people they encountered. Jesus had given them authority over evil spirits. And before they set off on their adventure, journeying with Jesus, He set the parameters of their pioneering mission.
"Take nothing for the journey except a staff - no bread, no bag, no money in your belts. Wear sandals but not an extra tunic. Whenever you enter a house, stay there until you leave that town. And if any place will not welcome you or listen to you, shake the dust off your feet when you leave, as a testimony against them."
Mark 6:12-30 recounts for us the reason Jesus met them with a place of rest, offering restorative refreshment in His Presence.
The disciples went out into the dark of the day, into the villages of fallen mankind. They went just as Jesus sent them as Light and Salt in the power He imparted to them by the Father's will and purpose.
The disciples preached repentance, drove out demons, anointed the sick with oil and saw many healed from the inside, soul healing, and the outward, physical healing.
And in the middle of all this redemptive work, the horrible, tragic martyrdom of a saint took place. John the Baptist, Jesus' cousin, the forerunner of Christ, the one who was sent to prepare the way, to blaze the trail...the pioneer, was imprisoned and beheaded.
The disciples went and took John's body from the prison and laid it in a tomb. And then... they were gathered around Jesus.
I want to allow myself to think, to imagine, taking the present day circumstances of my life and ministry in the "village" where I live to understand this passage of Scripture; the scenario which led Jesus to call the disciples away...by themselves...with Him...alone...in the quiet place...to get some rest.
They were grieving the murder of John the Baptist. Gathered together again with Jesus, they were telling Him of their experiences, the people they met and ministered to; they were recounting the victories they witnessed in His name.
But the people kept coming in and out. The needs and suffering was never ending. The darkness tried without end to crowd into their fellowship with Jesus. So, many were the demands, they didn't even have an opportunity to eat.
Possibly the events had stolen their appetite. Weariness, despair, and helplessness surely beckoned the disciples to come and take part. In the midst of all the good ministry, the victories accomplished on the journey, walking with Jesus, the reality of the depth of depravity overwhelms and threatens.
And so, Jesus steps in and simply commands, "Come, Lisa, with Me by yourself to a quiet place and get some rest."
The Good Shepherd's call is for His sheep. Do you hear His beckoning? He's calling you...Come, (your name is here),...