"When the apostles returned, they reported to Jesus what they had done. Then he took them with him and they withdrew by themselves to a town called Bethsaida, but the crowds learned about it and followed him. He welcomed them and spoke to them about the kingdom of God, and healed those who needed healing." Luke 9: 10-11
I can imagine Jesus and his disciples being tired, exhausted, in need of a break. Jesus is God, but during his ministry on earth he was also human. He often sought time and solitude for talking to his Father. He often had crowds of thousands following him, seeking understanding, seeking healing, seeking love. And I can imagine him exhausted, but full of spiritual energy, welcoming and teaching and healing.
I don't have crowds of thousands following me. Most days I just have a crowd of two (or eight) following me. Two busy, talkative kids. (Plus two cats and four chickens.) But I'm human, and some days that is quite enough to exhaust me and leave me in need of a break.
This past week I sat down on the kitchen floor to read the newspaper. Kind of strange, I know, but it was quiet in there and the counter kept me hidden. And sometimes that is what this super introverted mom needs. After a few minutes, I heard my daughter say calmly to my son, "We have a big problem. I can't find Mommy."
Jesus "welcomed them and spoke to them about the kingdom of God, and healed those who needed healing." When I withdraw to a quiet place, do I welcome my children when they follow me? Do I use those opportunities to speak to them about the kingdom of God? Do I take the opportunity to speak words of encouragement and healing to their sensitive hearts? Well, sometimes I do, but sometimes I don't.
This week I'm going to focus on welcoming my little followers. And I'm going to focus on being Jesus' follower. He always welcomes me, he speaks to me, and he heals me. Want to join me in this pursuit?