MATTHEW 14:13-14 – Now when Jesus heard this, he withdrew from there in a boat to a desolate place by himself. But when the crowds heard it, they followed him on foot from the towns. When he went ashore he saw a great crowd, and he had compassion on them and healed their sick.
THEME OF THE DAY: INCONVENIENCES, INTERRUPTIONS OR OPPORTUNITIES? It is going to happen, often and our responses will say a lot about where we are spiritually, how much we see the world through the heart and eyes of Jesus, and the ways we serve the Lord. This “it” that is going to happen are the times our schedules and plans get altered by people and circumstances.
In today’s scripture, Jesus is seeking alone time. He often practiced this discipline for the fellowship of prayer with His Father. Now, He is pulling away from the crowds after hearing the news of the death of John the Baptist. Remember, Jesus was Human. He knew emotional pain. He knew heartache. His alone time would have been a reflecting time of John announcing His coming into the world and His mission – The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! This is he of whom I said, ‘After me comes a man who ranks before me, because he was before me.’ I myself did not know him, but for this purpose I came baptizing with water, that he might be revealed to Israel.” 32 And John bore witness: “I saw the Spirit descend from heaven like a dove, and it remained on him. I myself did not know him, but he who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain, this is he who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’ And I have seen and have borne witness that this is the Son of God” (John 1:29-34). Jesus would also recall the special time of John baptizing Him – Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to John, to be baptized by him. John would have prevented him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?” But Jesus answered him, “Let it be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he consented (Matthew 3:13-15). They had a special relationship so it is easy to see Jesus seeking alone time but then . . . . But when the crowds heard it, they followed him on foot from the towns (Matthew 14:13).
How did Jesus respond to the “unexpected” people showing up and disrupting His “quiet time” or personal desires to be alone to have “me time”? First, let’s see how He didn’t. No frustration, no irritation, no unkind words like, “Can’t you see I am busy? I need alone time. I cannot be bothered right now.” Now before we look at how our Lord did respond, what about us? When our schedules, desires, and plans get altered either by people or circumstances, how do we respond? Like Jesus didn’t – frustrated, irritated, even impatient and maybe “snappy” at the people or complaining about the change of plans? Here is Jesus’ response – When he went ashore he saw a great crowd, and he had compassion on them and healed their sick (Matthew 14:14). He put aside His will, and showing compassion, served those interrupting and inconveniencing Him.
Friends, here is a real testing ground for us. We must learn to believe there are no interruptions or inconveniences in life whether they are from people or circumstances. They are divine appointments. All of them. If we seek the Lord to develop this mindset in us, wise and mature we shall be as His people.
PRAYER: “Father, forgive me for the too many times I don’t see people as You do.”
QUOTE: “There are no inconveniences or interruptions in our lives, only divine appointments.”
In the affection of Christ Jesus,