I like to be alone. In fact, in order to stay functional, I need to be alone. Often and for long periods of time. I tend to resent anyone who may disturb the time I’ve set aside for myself.
Jesus had moments where He needed to be alone. But once His ministry was in full swing, those moments seemed to disappear altogether.
As soon as Jesus heard the news, he went off by himself in a boat to a remote area to be alone. But the crowds heard where was was headed and followed by land from many villages.
Matthew 14:13 (NLT)
First of all, let’s back up. The reason that Jesus wanted to be alone was because He had just heard news of John the Baptist’s—his cousin—death. He was grieving.
I get annoyed on any given day when I want to be alone and am interrupted. I can’t imagine trying to mourn a close family member being followed by thousands of people. I have a feeling my response to those followers would be less than gracious.
A vast crowd was there as he stepped from the boat, and he had compassion on them and healed their sick.
Matthew 14:14 (NLT)
Not only did Jesus set aside His own wants and grief, but in a moment when He could have used some compassion, He had compassion on all of those who interrupted His mourning. If you keep reading, you’ll discover that this was the same moment where Jesus fed the thousands with just five loaves and two fish.
I don’t know that I’ll ever be able to graciously give up my alone time, but Jesus’ example makes me think I should try. My grief and need for solitude could perhaps be the moment that God most wants to use for the miraculous.
Daily Bible reading: Genesis 44-45, Matthew 14:1-21