World English Bible translation
6:30The apostles gathered themselves together to Jesus, and they told him all things, whatever they had done, and whatever they had taught. 6:31 He said to them, "You come apart into a desert place, and rest awhile." For there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat. 6:32 They went away in the boat to a desert place by themselves.
In Lesson 27 we read how Jesus sent out the Twelve to the towns of Galilee. He gave them authority to heal the sick and cast out unclean spirits. He told them to take no money and no extra clothes. They were to rely on God to provide for their needs. They were to go from town to town and spread the good news about the Kingdom of God. In yesterday's lesson we speculated that this must have taken quite some time because word of what was going on reached even Herod the Tetrarch's ear. He thought that John the Baptist, whom he had killed, had come back to life to haunt him. In today's lesson we see what occurred when the disciples returned to Jesus.
They were enthusiastic and excited when they returned. They told Him everything that had happened to them while they had been out. They had healed the sick and cast out unclean spirits. They had taught people the same kinds of things that Jesus had been teaching them. They began to get a taste of what the expansion of the early church would be like. Jesus knew that this was the beginning of the rest of His ministry, when He passed the torch to others to continue after He was gone. So when they came back all excited about what had happened Jesus knew that they needed a time to relax and allow all that had happened to them to sink in. So, Jesus tells them that the time has come to go into the desert and rest a while.
So many times we fill our Christian experience up with constant activity. Jesus knew that there was a time to work and a time to rest, a time to teach and a time to learn. We have to get away from our normal routines and activities to allow something new to enter into our lives. Jesus had sent these twelve men out on a new experience. Now they needed to contemplate what this would mean to them for the rest of their lives.
Do you find your days to be hectic and constantly filled? Has God granted you a new experience that you need to contemplate? Perhaps it is time for you to take a spiritual rest and break for a bit. Trust God to tell you when you need it.
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