I think I’ve read the gospel of Matthew a few hundred times in my life, but this verse stopped me as I read it tonight. It is the verse immediately after the story of John the Baptist’s beheading. Jesus received the bad news about John and the next thing he did was step away…or rather sail away by himself to be alone with God.
Matthew 14:13- Now when Jesus heard about John, He withdrew from there in a boat to a secluded place by Himself;
What I had never seen before is Jesus hopping in a boat by himself and sailing across the lake. Honestly, there is no better place to be alone than the middle of a lake in a boat. It just never caught my attention that he went alone. I’m not sure he told the disciples something like, “I’ve got to spend some time with the Father, I’ll see you on the other side of the lake…” as he pushes the boat away from shore. To me, it appears he just wanted to get away, gain some perspective of the days events and have some communication with his Father.
It’s important we step away from the chaos of our lives to be alone, to hear silence, to talk to God. In the middle of the most intense three years in human history, the ministry of Jesus, he hopped in a boat and casually (I assume) sailed to the other side. He stepped away from the crowds, away from the chaos to be alone. That picture of him sailing alone captivates my imagination. I wonder how often, in the craziness of all that swirls around me, I simply need to step away to be with God and be quiet.
When have you last stepped away from the crowds, the craziness to be alone with God? When was the last time when you spent an hour in complete silence just listening to God, talking to Him, being still? Honestly, this short passage forces me to deal with how important my time with God is, how important it is to simply walk away and be with the Father.
Come Sail Away with the Father today.