Tuesday

“On their return the apostles told Jesus all they had done. He took them with him and withdrew privately to a city called Bethsaida. When the crowds found out about it, they followed him; and he welcomed them, and spoke to them about the kingdom of God, and healed those who needed to be cured.” (vv. 10-11)

Luke 9:10-17 Tuesday 5 June 2018

Psalm: Psalm 73:15-28


Background

The 12 disciples had been on work experience: preaching and healing the sick in the villages around Bethsaida (Luke 9:1-9). They risked going out with no possessions, throwing themselves on the hospitality of strangers and proclaiming the kingdom of God.

Now, tired and in need of some time alone with Jesus, they set off for a debrief. They wanted to talk about what had happened and, presumably, check out if they had done well.

Everything we read in the Gospels suggests that time with Jesus was enjoyable; the meals were fun; the conversations were challenging; so these private moments would be precious. But just as everyone was ready to settle in for a good evening the crowds turned up.

You can picture Peter, James and John (the Sons of Thunder) getting ready to turn them away but, as Luke’s Gospel tells, us, Jesus “welcomed them, and spoke to them about the kingdom of God, and healed those who needed to be cured”.

How frustrating! Just when you want some quiet time with the Rabbi, people butt in and crowd you out.

Are there moments when you hope to find a space to be alone with Christ – say in prayer or Bible study – only to find that other people’s demands or someone else’s work schedule disrupt your carefully-prepared plan?

What’s the correct response? Is it right to get frustrated because our ‘quiet time’ with Jesus has been disrupted or should we celebrate because those who had greater needs were heard and healed?

Perhaps the most challenging thing about today’s passage is that Jesus never does get to relax with the disciples – within a very short time he’s putting them back to work: challenging their faith in the feeding of thousands.


To Ponder

  • How do you respond when your quiet time is disrupted?
  • Do you ever feel pushed out of the presence of Jesus?
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