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  • July 11, 2014 - Reflections

    By Jean S. Horner
    The other day while walking down a corridor in a public building, I saw what appeared to be someone walking toward me. On coming closer, I found it was my own reflection in a huge mirror. For a moment it frightened me. Somehow a full-length reflection of one’s self is a startling thing. ...

On Your Mark by Dr. George O. Wood


Do You Need to Take a Break?

The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to him all they had done and taught. Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” (Mark 6:30,31, NIV)

Sometimes you just need to get away from it all. You cannot function well if you are always under stress. Jesus understood that.

He had sent the disciples out to preach, heal and cast out demons (6:7-13). During their itineration, Herod began to think that John the Baptist had risen from the dead (6:14-29). 

Jesus’ disciples return to Him — no doubt weary and exhausted, along with apprehension and fear that what happened to John may next be the fate of Jesus.

They report to Jesus what they had done and taught. I would love to have heard their stories — probably some humor, some hardship, some dull and dry days; but also, some wonderful accounts of hospitality, unexpected provision, and jaw-dropping accounts of miracles and exorcisms.

Mark does not tell us what Jesus was doing or where He was while the disciples were on their first mission. Perhaps He had withdrawn into solitude for a time, or maybe there were some personal matters back in Nazareth that He tended to. 

However, once the disciples return, He is again mobbed. This incident is the 10th time Mark records Jesus as being surrounded with a press of people. Consider the previous nine:

• Sundown healings (1:33)
• A crowded house and a rooftop paralytic (2:2)
• A large crowd by the lake when He called Levi (2:13)
• Another large crowd from all over gathered by the lake (3:7)
• A crowd in the house while His mother and brothers were outside (3:32)
• The crowd by the lake while He taught in parables (4:1)
• The crowd by the lake as He and His disciples set sail (4:36)
• The people of Gadara and the surrounding region (5:14)
• A pressing crowd by the lake when Jairus and the bleeding woman met Him (5:21,24)

These 10 incidents demonstrate the popularity and attractiveness of Jesus. Unlike the religious leaders who harped on technicalities of the Law, Jesus made it His priority to meet human needs by healing bodies through His power and nurturing the soul through His teaching.

Jesus was sensitive to people and to the fact that people had traveled from all over seeking Him, but He also was sensitive to the needs of His exhausted and stressed disciples. They needed some rest, quiet and a good meal. Jesus did not push them past the level of their endurance.

Sure, the sick were waiting to be healed, peopled needed deliverance, lessons should be taught — but Jesus breaks away from it all to give His disciples a needed break.

There is a lesson for us in this. There will always be things pressing at you, more things to be done in the day than you can do. You cannot get your own “to do” list done because others are intruding into your schedule with their concerns.

It’s OK for you to take a break, to get some rest. You have no less an authority than Jesus to show you that getting away for a season is the right thing to do.

A prayer of response
Lord Jesus, I leave the busyness of this day with all its demands to have some solace with You. Restore my strength and heart in quiet moments. Lead me by still waters and renew my body, soul and spirit.

GEORGE O. WOOD is general superintendent of the Assemblies of God.

On Your Mark

Previous Years

2013 On Your Mark

2012 On Your Mark

2011 On Your Mark

2010 On Your Mark

2009 On Your Mark

2008 On Your Mark

Podcasts of On Your Mark are available in video and audio.
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