May 3

Text: Matthew 14:22, 23

And immediately He made the disciples get into the boat, and go ahead of Him to the other side, while He sent the multitudes away.  And after He had sent the multitudes away, He went up to the mountain by Himself to pray; and when it was evening, He was there alone. (NASB)

John was dead.  Jesus needed alone time.  Yet, the 12 were constantly with him.  The multitudes with their needs were everywhere—usually their needs were for him to use his power to heal their sick.

Jesus left to be alone.  However, multitudes followed, and the need arose for him to teach the 12.  In compassion, he healed the sick, fed the people, and taught the 12—without resentment!

However, Jesus still needed to be alone.  His compassionate caring for the multitude did not fill that need.  Nor did his using his power to heal the sick!  Nor did teaching the 12!  He unselfishly met those needs—even put them before his own need.  However, his need to be alone remained.

One gets the sense that he demanded that the 12 get in the boat and leave.  The marginal notation says the word “made” literally can be translated with the English word “compelled.”  If Jesus insisted that the 12 leave, do you not know that they had questions?

Matthew said that Jesus “sent” the multitudes away.  After seeing the sick healed and food enough for everyone, can you not hear at least some saying, “If I had that kind of power, I would use it to help people all the time.  Why send us away?  He could take care of us if he wanted to!”

How did Jesus use his time alone?  He used it as a time of restoration and reaffirmation of relationship with God.  How did he do that?  He prayed.

Note that it was not wrong or selfish to need an alone time.  To make a time for self is not selfish!

Suggestion for reflection: When do you need times alone?  How do you use them?  (Read 1 Kings 19:1-19.)

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