I AMSeries: The Gospel of Mark
This week’s sermon was ultimately about the disciple’s response to the Feeding of the 5,000. Tucked into the verses of our passage, however, were some very important words about Jesus’ actions after the great miracle. He dismissed the crowds, “took leave of them” and went up on the mountain to pray. He rested.
A couple weeks ago, I made a push for us to be better about going the distance to meet people’s needs. I’ve found in my personal experience I can easily become selfish if I don’t try to see through the inconvenience of the moment to what the person is truly in need of. However, there is a line. At some point, we give all we can, and we need to break away to recover our energy. We cannot give and give and give without consequence. Our bodies physically shut down and we get sick, we become tired and grumpy, we compromise our long term health, etc.
I find it really important that Jesus knew when He was truly at His end. He needed to politely excuse himself from the crowd (who, after seeing such an amazing miracle and teaching, no doubt wanted to stay a while and talk). Jesus had compassion for those in need, but He also didn’t allow Himself to be sucked dry by them. He knew where His limit was. Do you know yours? Would you be able to pull yourself away when you need to? Or, do you keep pushing through, dangerously, ignoring your body and perhaps even your own family as they beg you to take a break? I think it’s worth mentioning that Jesus—even as God—didn’t. Maybe we should do the same.