Luke 5:15 But now more than ever the word about Jesus spread abroad; many crowds would gather to hear him and to be cured of their diseases.
Luke 5:16 But he would withdraw to deserted places and pray.
Quietly tucked into the narrative we find what very well may be the secret to Jesus’ ministry. He was busy day in and day out doing the Father’s business. Miraculous transformations were occurring in the lives of numerous people. Blind could see, those with leprosy healed, the paralyzed could walk and the crowds were following him everywhere. And yet, even Jesus knew that his strength had to come from his fellowship with the Father. He had to withdraw and be alone so that he could pray.
I lead a pretty busy life (and I think it may have just gotten busier), and yet, my life is nothing like that of Jesus Christ. I can’t imagine what it must have been like for him, continually ministering to so many people. He was constantly giving of himself to help others, to help them see and envision the kingdom of God! It was exhausting work. And yet, Jesus — even Jesus, could not do this alone. He made it a priority to get away and spend time in prayer.
Jesus’ entire life here on this earth is one in which sanctified humanity is revealed to us. Jesus came so that we, too, could be holy. His life is a demonstration for us of the work that he wants to accomplish in and through us and we are to follow his example — to imitate him. If Jesus had to withdraw on a regular basis “to deserted places and pray,” how much more so do I? How do I think I can manage the busyness of my life on my own? The busier we are, the more time we need to spend with him!
Somehow this time of “withdrawal” needs to become a regular part of who we are, just as it was with Christ. We need to create deserted places where we can simply be alone with him, and in doing so will we find the wisdom and strength that come only from him to go back out into the chaos of our lives.
Lord, thank you for the quiet moments with you. Amen.