January 27, 2024
Mark 5:30–31, New Living Translation
“The apostles returned to Jesus from their ministry tour and told him all they had done and taught. Then Jesus said, ‘Let’s go off ourselves to a quiet place, and rest a while.’ He said this, because there were so many people coming and going that Jesus and his apostles didn’t even have time to eat.”
I wonder if we forget that God is God. We move “full steam ahead” trying to do so much on our own. We begin to feel weary and uninspired. We may lose interest in the things that bring us joy. We go through what they call burnout.
Jesus recognized the importance of getting away. In Mark 5:30-31 (NLT) it says, “The apostles returned to Jesus from their ministry tour, and told him all they had done and taught. Then Jesus said, ‘Let’s go off by ourselves to a quiet place and rest a while.’ he said this, because there were so many people coming and going that Jesus and his apostles didn’t even have time to eat.” The story continues on with how more people came while they had been searching for a quiet place and Jesus had compassion on them. He taught them, and then the 5,000 people were fed. After all this, the Bible tells us, “Immediately after this, Jesus insisted that his disciples get back into the boat and head across the lake to Bethsaida while he sent people home. After telling everyone goodbye, he went up into the hills by himself to pray.” (Mark 5:45-46, NLT)
There are some major things in these passages that I want us to glean from. The apostles had been out teaching the crowds, casting out demons, and healing the sick. Jesus knew they had given out so much of themselves, and that they needed time to fill back up. Hence why He insisted that they get back into the boat and head across the lake as he told the people goodbye. You cannot pour out from an empty or broken cistern. Jeremiah 2:13 (NLT) says, “For my people have done evil things: they have abandoned me— the fountain of living water. And they have dug for themselves cracked sister and they can hold no water at all.”
We must remember that “My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth.” (Psalm 121:2, NLT) Jesus, although He was fully man and fully God, recognized His need to be with our father. He needed the strength that comes from God to continue pursuing the things of God. His will for His life, and we must do the same. Otherwise, we are abandoning God and trying to do things on our own. We lack the living water that gives us life. We become a broken, cracked cistern that we ourselves are trying to fill. We recognize that when we do this, we eventually burn out.
Remember, Jesus gives us a command in John 15:4 (NLT), “Remain in me, and I also remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the Vine, and you cannot be fruitful, unless you remain in me.”
In reading the scripture, I believe we should consider our day-to-day activities. Are we doing everything God wants us to do? Or are we doing the things that God wants and something(s) He hasn’t called us to do? Oftentimes, I believe we pick things up because we feel there’s nobody else to do it, or if we don’t do it, it won’t get done right. Really, it’s an issue of not trusting God to supply the need. If we insert ourselves in places that God doesn’t call us to, we are preventing others from taking up the calling God has placed on their life.
I want to encourage us, just as Jesus went to a quiet place to seek His father, that we go to a quiet place, and seek our father. Find out from Him what He wants you to pick up, put down, or hold onto. Let him restore the passions and joy in your life you once had.
“Then Jesus said, ‘Come to me, all of you, who are weary, and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your soul. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” (Matthew 11:28–30, NLT)