Matthew 14 tells the story of John the Baptist's death by King Herod's hand. Jesus grew up with John - they were close buddies. So when Jesus was told of John's death, he was saddened and Matthew 14: 13 says he took off alone in a boat to a remote area, I'm sure to spend some time morning and thinking about his friend John.
I identified with this reaction when I read it this morning. I go out on Lake Taneycomo a lot of time to be alone, to think, pray or... just to get away from people. There's really nothing like being on the water in a boat with no one in sight of you, only me and the fishes... and birds and wind and sunlight. I've had some awesome moments in my boat, pouring my heart out to God about troubles, about confusing times, about losing friends and my dad. I say awesome because those were cleansing times, very much needed at the time. Jesus felt like he needed time alone and he had a boat, just like mine. And he had a lake, kinda like mine. But he had a following that wouldn't leave him alone.
In reading on, I saw where when Jesus came to the shore, to where he was headed to spend some quiet time, the people had beat him there and were waiting. They didn't care about John or about his grieving, they were needy and wanted something from him. My reaction was, of course, selfish. I wouldn't have come to shore. I would have kept paddling, ignoring the crowd. I would have paddled to the middle of the lake and dropped an anchor. But knowing God, He would have sent a gale and swamped my boat, a big carp would have swam over and sucked my to his big lips and carried me to the people waiting.
Matthew 14: 14 says Jesus had compassion on them and healed their sick. Compassion isn't one of my strong character qualities. God's working on me in that area. So when I put all this together, I know this is something I would have trouble with in my flesh. I would say, "I deserve this time alone! You guys are being insensitive to MY needs. My friend just died a horrible death and you don't even care!"
But Jesus saw and lived the big picture. He knew John's death had purpose. He knew where John was and what He had to do. He viewed LIFE in the eternal sense and not just the here-and-now. We have to get past the HERE-AND-NOW mentality cause LIFE, creation, the expanse of the universe is so much greater than the piddly stuff we deal with on a daily basis.
Jesus shows what the MOST IMPORTANT thing is -- PEOPLE. Jesus said he didn't come to save the healthy, smart and uppity people. He came to save the sick, lost and poor - the NEEDY people. We need to have more compassion and step out of the boat, get off the lake.