Summary: Jesus experienced great demands on His time. He never forgot what His purpose was in coming here. He came to seek, serve and save mankind.
But Jesus withdrew with His disciples to the sea.7a
And a great multitude from Galilee followed Him, and from Judea and Jerusalem and Idumea and beyond the Jordan; and those from Tyre and Sidon, a great multitude, when they heard how many things He was doing, came to Him. So He told His disciples that a small boat should be kept ready for Him because of the multitude, lest they should crush Him. For He healed many, so that as many as had afflictions pressed about Him to touch Him. 7b-10
And the unclean spirits, whenever they saw Him, fell down before Him and cried out, saying, "You are the Son of God." But He sternly warned them that they should not make Him known. 11-12
"Behold! My Servant whom I have chosen,
My Beloved in whom My soul is well pleased!
I will put My Spirit upon Him,
And He will declare justice to the Gentiles.
He will not quarrel nor cry out,
Nor will anyone hear His voice in the streets.
A bruised reed He will not break,
And smoking flax He will not quench,
Till He sends forth justice to victory;
And in His name Gentiles will trust." Matthew 12:17-21
The Demands of a Personal Ministry
Introduction – The Unbreakable Comb
The salesman was demonstrating unbreakable combs in the department store. He impressed the people who stopped by to look by putting the comb through all sorts of torture and stress.
Finally to impress even the skeptics in the crowd, he bent the comb completely in half, and it snapped with a loud crack. Without missing a beat, he bravely held up both halves of the 'unbreakable' comb for everyone to see and said,
"And this, ladies and gentlemen, is what an unbreakable comb looks like on the inside..."
The Retreat from the Pharisees 7a
Jesus retreated from the Pharisees, not in defeat, but to continue teaching His disciples and to prepare for His exodus.
Accusations from the leaders
The spiritual leaders (Pharisees, Sadducees, Herodians and Sanhedrin) were conspiring to have Jesus dealt with. Their primary reason was that He was proclaiming to be the Messiah. They did not like His “breaking” of the Sabbath and their 613 laws. He was creating tension among them.
Anticipation of His arrest
Jesus knew His death was rapidly approaching. He consistently warned His disciples that His death was imminent. Jesus was dictating the time and place of His arrest and crucifixion.
Alienation among the people
He was not what the people thought He would be as far as a Messiah. They expected a warrior Messiah who would destroy the Romans and other enemies. They were alienated because He did not fit their “image” of a conquering Messiah.
All of these things brought great stress upon Jesus and the disciples. Jesus had a sense of calmness because He was there to accomplish the Father’s will. He protected the disciples by separating them from those who wished to destroy them.
The Stress Diet
BREAKFAST: 1/2 grapefruit
1 slice whole wheat toast
8oz skim milk
LUNCH: 4oz broiled chicken
1 cup steamed zucchini
1 Oreo cookie
1 cup herb tea
SNACK: Rest of the package of Oreo cookies
1qt Rocky Road ice cream
1 jar hot fudge
DINNER: 2 loaves garlic bread
1 large pepperoni & mushroom pizza
1 liter soda pop
3 candy bars
1 entire cheesecake eaten directly from the freezer
1. If no one sees you eat it, it has no calories.
2. If you drink a diet soda with a candy bar, they will cancel each other out.
3. Food taken for medicinal purposes does not count. This includes chocolate, egg nog, toast, and Sara Lee chocolate cake.
4. If you fatten up everyone around you, you'll look thinner.
5. Pieces of cookies contain no calories. The process of breaking causes calorie leakage.
6. Late-night snacks have no calories. The refrigerator light is not strong enough for the calories to see their way into the calorie counter.
7. You should all remember science class from school. A "calorie" is a unit of heat, therefore cold foods have no calories. Ice cream is frozen and is an excellent diet food. It results in "negative" calories.
Stress is something we face on a daily basis. Perhaps not the kind of stress Jesus faced but stress nonetheless. Our focus should be one day at a time with a look toward the eternal knowing God is in control.
Second, look at…
The Response of the People 7b-10
The people were following Jesus for two primary reasons. First was the miraculous healing He was able to do. No one had ever done the depths of healing that He had. The other was the words which were spoken. He spoke as one who had authority. His words were life giving!