Jesus has just had a long night ministering to people. As soon as the sun went down and ended the Sabbath, people were at Peter’s doorstep asking for miracles from Jesus. We are going to join Him on the morning after.
I have no idea how long Jesus ministered to the people but I wouldn’t be surprised if it was well after midnight before everyone was satisfied and went home. Jesus must have gotten some sleep though because Mark tells us that He rose very early in the morning, while it was still dark.
Jesus was more than likely exhausted. So does he sleep in like we would do? No. He gets up before dawn and goes searching for true refreshing. Jesus didn’t find refreshing in sleep or food or even hobbies. He found refreshing in the presence of His Father. He habitually spent time in prayer. This was where He was filled up again so He could continue to pour out Himself into people’s lives.
As a human, Jesus required food, clothing, sleep, and shelter. Jesus required these things too but what He thrived on was His relationship with His Father. Jesus is seen on more than one occasion to forgo physical food, for a time, for the sake of spiritual work. In John 4:32 He tells His disciples that He has access to food that they don’t know anything about. He was referring to spiritual food. A spiritual filling that overrode His physical body’s needs.
When Peter and the rest of Jesus’ disciples got up and got moving, they noticed Jesus was gone. They went in search of Him. Not to see what He needed, but to bring Him word of the resurgent crowd’s needs. They didn’t even ask Him what He had been up to. Did they know at this point in their relationship that Jesus liked to go off alone to pray?
Jesus didn’t tell them what He had been doing out there alone. Instead He told them that He was ready to move on from Capernaum. After ministering to so many people last night, Jesus decides it’s time to get back on the road. He needed to continue to spread the gospel. That was after all why He came.
We are not told if He went back and met with the waiting people or how long it took for Him to leave Capernaum, but they did leave. They would also be back time and time again. For now, Jesus and His disciples go “throughout all Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and casting out demons” (verse 39). I would venture to say there was a fair amount of healing done during these travels too.
Lord Jesus, thank You for showing us where true refreshing comes from; spending time in prayer. Restoration through sleep, food, and other source are important, but they do not reach the soul. My soul needs to be with You. That is where I find comfort and purpose. Like refreshing through food, spiritual refreshing through prayer needs to be done frequently. I cannot rest in yesterday’s blessings to see me through forever any more than I can expect last week’s meals to last me through the next week. I need You daily. More than daily is even better. As Paul said, “Pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:16).
Thank You for always being there when I come. You are never on vacation or too busy to meet with me when I finally come. Please forgive me for making You wait so long sometimes. I want to try again to show you daily how much I love You by spending time with You; regardless of my other “obligations.” I have to admit that when I put out time first that all my “obligations” are MUCH easier to deal with. Remind me of that when I’m tempted to short cut You on time again.