One of the things I like to do as I read the scriptures is write down just one thing, one quick takeaway from the section. It’s a simple practice that anybody can do, it helps to reinforce what I’ve read, and it gives me an opportunity to engage with what the Holy Spirit might be trying to teach me.
This is my “quick thought” from today’s reading in Mark.
“So they left by boat for a quiet place, where they could be alone. … Jesus saw the huge crowd as he stepped from the boat, and he had compassion on them …” ~Mark 6:32 & 34
Have you ever been in search of “peace and quiet” and just couldn’t find it?
Yes, Jesus too.
The disciples had been alone with Jesus in the boat, but were they too distracted by the minor tasks around them to recognize this? When am I so distracted by superfluous tasks that I miss an opportunity to be alone with Jesus?
It seems like the quietest place in Jesus’ life is on a boat! Maybe that’s why he was able to sleep in the midst of a storm earlier in Mark? Regardless, here they are again searching for “peace and quiet” and when they reach their destination, they see the same people they had just left behind. These people too were looking for the “peace and quiet” that only Jesus provides!
The people had run around the lake ahead of them, and got there before them! They were so eager to be with him, that they watched where he was going, followed, and waited for him. I can hear the exasperated groans of the disciples as they pull the boat to shore. I can feel the frustration and annoyance that they must have felt deep within me. I can feel it because it’s the reaction I would have had in that moment.
But, not Jesus. Instead of being frustrated and annoyed he has compassion on them. Compassion is the instinctual response of Jesus! When I’m frustrated with the world, he’s compassionate. When I’m annoyed by people that won’t leave me alone, he’s compassionate. When I’m angry at anybody I disagree with, he’s compassionate. Compassion is Jesus’ instinctual response when he sees us in need. I want to be more like Jesus!
This is what I heard in today’s reading, what did you hear?