Summary: Looks at seven examples solitude of Jesus and gives three benefits.
The Solitude and Silence of Jesus – Seven Examples
There is great value in seeking silence and solitude in our lives. In this fast paced world – it is not uncommon for most of us to miss tranquil times of quiet. Many of us always seem to be in a rush. I do not know if you realize this or not, but Jesus used silence and solitude quite a bit during His life and ministry. He did not get away by Himself just get away from people - but He used silence and solitude as a means of getting closer to God and minister more effectively to people. He knew that He needed to maintain a close relationship with God – if He wanted to be effective in His ministry. He wanted a close relationship with the father. He wanted to hear God whisper. He wanted to hear that “still small voice” of The Father speak to Him. So – He sought solitude and silence – so that He could hear God’s voice clearer. Here are some times and places we find Jesus in solitude:
*Solitude at the beginning of ministry
At the beginning of Jesus’ ministry the scripture tells us:
“Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward He was hungry.” Matthew 4:1-2 (NKJV)
If you recall – this event took place right after the baptism of Jesus where the heavens opened and a voice came from heaven saying, “This is my beloved son – in whom I am well pleased.” Jesus then seeks solitude and silence – and in the process He is tempted by Satan.
Folks, I would never advise anyone to go out and try to pick a fight with Satan. I do not think that it would be a good idea. However, I also believe that there are times when Satan will try to pick a fight with you. Silence and solitude – your quiet time with God – will help you resist Satan.
Do you recall how Jesus resisted Satan? Do you remember? Jesus resisted Satan by the use of scripture. Where did Jesus learn scripture and its application? From the study of the scriptures and quiet time with God. Nothing can substitute in your spiritual growth – for your quiet time with God. God wants to have a relationship with you – and that relationship is enhanced by the time you spend with Him. Seek solitude and silence – in building a relationship with your Heavenly Father.
*Solitude before making important decisions
The second example of the silence and solitude of Jesus is right before He goes out and chooses the twelve apostles. Follow along with me as I read from Luke chapter six:
“Now it came to pass in those days that He went out to the mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God. And when it was day, He called His disciples to Himself; and from them He chose twelve whom He also named apostles.” Luke 6:12-13 (NKJV)
It is never a bad idea to pray before making major decisions in your life – Jesus did! Jesus sought silence and solitude with the Father before He made the decision of the choosing of the twelve.
*Solitude at the death of a close friend
You recall the story of John the Baptist – let me read a portion of it now:
“He (Herod) sent and had John beheaded in the prison. And his head was brought on a platter and given to the girl, and she brought it to her mother. His disciples came and took away the body and buried it; and they went and reported to Jesus. Now when Jesus heard about John, He withdrew from there in a boat to a secluded place by Himself.” Matthew 14:10-13a (NASV)
At the hearing of the news about the death of John the Baptist – Jesus sought solitude and silence. Folks the storms of death will more than likely touch each and every one of our lives. For many of us – it has already happen. A parent – a grandparent – a sibling – a spouse – a friend – can be touched by death – and it is times like those that we may need to seek silence and solitude with our Father in heaven. We need His strength and support as we travel through “the valley of the shadow death.” I know this was true of Jesus and I know that these times seek the Father too.
*Solitude at the pressure of popularity
Another incident takes place shortly after the death of John the Baptist. In fact it is found in the same chapter. It seems that Jesus popularity kept growing and so did the demands of the crowds. Follow along with me as I read Matthew chapter fourteen and verse twenty three: