Summary: Pentecost 9(B) - JULY 21, 2002 - Jesus invites us to "Come with me...get some rest", both for the body and for the soul.
Come With Me?Get Some Rest
MARK 6:30-34 - July 21, 2002
30The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to him all they had done and taught. 31Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, "Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest."
32So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place. 33But many who saw them leaving recognized them and ran on foot from all the towns and got there ahead of them. 34When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things.
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Dearest Fellow-Redeemed and Saints in the Lord:
During our lives, each one of us at one time or another, have probably gotten at least one invitation or probably even more. We receive invitations to anniversary celebrations, birthday celebrations, open house celebrations, graduations, and the list goes on and on. Probably when we receive an invitation we?re flattered that someone would remember us once again to invite us to their festival, their joyous celebration. Today the Lord reminds us of His invitation that each and every day He invites us to find rest?rest for our bodies and rest for our souls. We are familiar with His invitation from Matthew. He says: ?Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.? (Matthew 11:28) And yet that invitation that is extended to us day in and day out, every day of our life, sometimes we forget about, sometimes we may even not accept because we have forgotten the Lord?s special invitation. If that is the case, then it does us well to pay special close attention, to take a deep breath and sit back and listen to the Lord as He invites us as He did to His disciples with His words ?Come with Me and get some rest?. I. He says come with me and get some rest for your bodies physically, II. come with me and get some rest for your souls spiritually.
I. Get some rest for your bodies, physically.
We?ve been looking in this gospel of Mark for the last couple of weeks. At the beginning of chapter 6 we were reminded of how Jesus went to His hometown of Capernaum. As He preached in the synagogue, the people didn?t want to listen to Him. He reminded them of how a prophet was without honor in his hometown. Still Jesus went and preached to the cities around, and He sent out His disciples two by two. In our text this morning we find that the disciples come back. We aren?t told why they came back?it could be because this was the time they were supposed to come back or it could be because of a bad situation that had arisen. From the verses before our text, we?re told about John the Baptist and Herod, who was the ruler. You may recall that Herod did not like Jesus, and because of that he didn?t like John the Baptist either. We are told how he had made a foolish oath, for he had promised to give up to half of his kingdom for a dance. When the oath was demanded, the girl asked for the head of John the Baptist. And so we?re told, Herod beheaded John the Baptist. The disciples returned in sadness because their friend, the forerunner of Jesus, had been put to death. And yet, they returned!
The disciples gathered around Jesus and reported to Him all they had done and taught. They came and they were excited and saddened at the same time?saddened at the death of John the Baptist, but certainly excited that as they had gone out and preached the word of God, it was just as Jesus said. They preached the word and some believed. But as they?d gone out it was just as Jesus said: they preached the word and they used the word and some were healed. They were in the midst of reporting back to Jesus all that they had done and taught. The kingdom of God began to flourish. People who didn?t consider Jesus very important just a short time ago were now willing to listen to the word of God. They were willing to follow what he had to say.
Our text describes it this way: Because so many people were coming and going, they did not even have a chance to eat. The crowds were gathering. Wherever Jesus was and wherever His disciples were, there the crowds gathered. We?re told they didn?t even have a chance to eat?the purpose of that is that during mealtimes Jesus and His disciples had a chance to visit. They talked about the events of the day. They talked about the plans for the next day. If they didn?t have a chance to eat then they didn?t have a chance to visit. They didn?t have a chance to relax. They found no rest. We?re told they didn?t have a chance to eat, and Jesus said to them, ?Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.? They needed to take a break from the daily rush of activity. It reminds us of the time that Jesus went off by himself. If we go back to the very beginning of the gospel of Mark in the first chapter we find that when it was very early in the morning, Jesus got up by Himself and went off to a solitary place and prayed. Even the Son of God realized that He needed rest from the day-to-day activities. What do you think? Were the disciples anxious to do that? Sure. Our text says Jesus invited them: ?come with me by yourselves to a quiet place to get some rest?, so they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place. Peter, being a fisherman, still had connections. They borrowed a boat, set sail and left to find their solitary place, to find some physical rest for themselves.