Comedian Fred Allen said, “A celebrity is a person who works hard all his life to become well-known, then wears dark glasses to avoid being recognized.” Fame often brings loss of privacy along with a relentless frenzy of attention.
When Jesus began His public ministry of teaching and healing, He was catapulted into the public eye and thronged by people seeking help. Crowds followed Him wherever He went. But Jesus knew that having regular time alone with God was essential to maintaining strength and perspective.
After Jesus’ twelve disciples returned from their successful mission “to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal the sick,” He took them to a quiet place to rest (Luke 9:2,10). Soon, however, crowds of people found them and Jesus welcomed them. He “spoke to them about the kingdom of God, and healed those who needed healing” (v. 11). Instead of sending them away to find food, the Lord provided an outdoor picnic for 5,000! (vv. 12-17).
Jesus was not immune to the pressure of curious and hurting people, but He maintained the balance of public service and private solitude by taking time for rest and for prayer alone with His Father (Luke 5:16).
May we follow our Lord’s example as we serve others in His name.
Dear Father, as Jesus Your Son and our Savior honored You in solitude and service to others, may we follow His example in our lives.
Turning down the volume of life allows you to listen to God.
The miracle of the feeding of the multitude is recorded in all four gospels (see Matt. 14:13–21; Mark 6:30–44; Luke 9:10–17; John 6:1–15). Each account provides specific details to help complete the story. Matthew tells us that the crowd numbered 5,000 men plus women and children. Mark tells us that the people sat in groups of 50 and 100. Luke informs us that this event is connected to the disciples’ report of their outreach trip. John’s account tells us that the food came from a young boy’s lunch.