“Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.”

After the interlude describing John the Baptist’s death, we now find out about the Apostles return (Mk 6: 30-34) from their being sent out two by two.  They report on their missions and then Jesus tells them to come away by boat to rest (above) and eat.  Large crowds were still pursuing them and, when they found out the group’s destination, they followed.   Jesus took pity on the vast assembly gathered at their destination and began to teach these lost sheep.  Proper rest and nutrition is important for body and soul.  Jesus realized that the Apostles had been very busy about their work building up the Kingdom, but now it was important for them to have downtime.  They would not be able to keep up such a pace and their ministry (and their selves) would be worse off for their being rundown.  A temptation in the excitement of a conversion, reversion, or a special outpouring of the Holy Spirit, is that we can feel that we are never doing enough in praying, fasting, and ministering to the Lord’s people.  But God knows we need rest.  He built in sleep cycles.  He asked us to honor an entire day of the week for rest.  Take advantage of these times of relaxation and reflection.  If we are always busy about many things (remember Martha in Lk 10:40) we might not hear the gentle whisper of the Lord (1 Kgs 19:12) regarding His will for us.  Not that there won’t be times when more is demanded of us, as with Jesus in this passage.  Then we ask for strength from the Holy Spirit to do God’s work well.  But it is important to have the balance that keeps us centered on the Lord so that we will do His will to the best of our ability per the gifts He has given us.

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