May I Have Your Attention?
When Jesus heard that his cousin, John the Baptist, was beheaded, Jesus took time to be alone. He boarded a boat and shipped off to a remote spot to pray. I can imagine Jesus with a heavy heart reminiscing the life of his cousin and the times they spent together; most recently, John baptizing Jesus. I can imagine Jesus crying out asking God why John was killed so brutally.
While Jesus was spending this time alone, a large crowd followed him on land and met him where he was. Jesus turned his attention to them as they were like sheep without a shepherd and he started to teach them many things. It was getting late in the day and the disciples suggested to Jesus that he excuse them to their homes so they could get something to eat. Jesus told his disciples to feed them. Since they were in a remote place, only two fish and five loaves of bread were available. Jesus blessed the meal and fed the thousands of people. When the meal was over the disciples were instructed to collect the scraps. They did as they were told and filled 12 baskets.
1. Jesus needed time alone to assess the death of his cousin.
2. Jesus knew he had to get away to pray.
3. During Jesus’s prayer time, God strengthened him to meet the needs of the thousands of people who came to be near him.
4. Jesus taught, healed and fed the people…all in the name of compassion.
When was the last time you had a heavy heart and took it to God? Have you really rested in the arms of Jesus who loves you, and knows your hurting heart? When was the last time you put your hurts aside and gave your time and attention to someone else? Really gave your time and attention to someone else.
If you cannot recall a time such as this…then create a new memory. Remember, you are not doing this for yourself, you are doing it for the person/people who need your attention.
Matthew 11:28 (NIV)
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
Isaiah 12:2 (NIV)
Surely God is my salvation;
I will trust and not be afraid.
The Lord, the Lord himself, is my strength and my defense;
he has become my salvation.