Daily Office Readings for Monday, 1 April 2019 4 Lent Year 1
“When Jesus realized that they were about to come and take him by force to make him king, he withdrew again to the mountain by himself.” (John 6:15)
Jesus has just fed the multitudes, about 5000. And because of this they want to make him King. Jesus is not looking for that. Jesus wants to teach people about the love of God and has shown God’s love in sharing whatever we have, even if it doesn’t seem to be enough. He shows them and us a better way, a better direction to travel.
I personally find this introvert personality trait of Jesus attractive. I too like to withdraw into a quiet place and get away from people so as to recharge. I’ve had people tell me I’m an extrovert but I don’t believe it. I have been so gratified when I have turned the leadership of something over to whoever was replacing me. It is good to just be freed from things for a while.
Jesus shuns the idea of being in charge as a king. He doesn’t want to command, he wants to commend, to teach and to heal. Teaching is where real power is. It is the same old story about the fish. Give someone a fish and you have fed them for a day, teach them to fish and you have fed them for life. When Jesus meets and recruits his fishing followers on the coasts he tells them he will make them fishers of people. Jesus is more the medicine man in the towns and villages rather than the mayor or governor.
Jesus wants to coach people into being better by making them realize what’s important in life. He wants them, and us, to know that God loves us and wants us to love one another. One does not have to be the official in charge to do that. But you do have to be someone that people will listen to and respect. There was a time that such a person was the parent, pastor and/or teacher. Now more and more it seems to be social media and uninformed peers who also have no better guidance. It is better to go in the right direction alone that in a crowd headed in the wrong direction. And if someone does see that you are going in a better direction and wants to put you in charge because of that, it may be time to withdraw to the mountain by yourself.
Let us hear what the Spirit is saying through and to God’s people and “Ponder anew what the Creating Word is doing.” John Thomas Frazier Sr.