How did Jesus decide what He was going to do, where He would travel, and how He would spend His time? The crowds wanted His attention wherever He went. The disciples had questions for Him. The Pharisees and teachers wanted Him to explain His actions and intentions. A variety of people were eager for His healing touch or to be freed from the demons that possessed them. How did He find time for Himself and for the people that He loved and wanted to see? Or in His busy schedule of teaching and serving was that even important? The same questions loom large in the minds of many of us who want to “hear the Word of God and obey it”. How do we love and serve God and others when the needs around us seem so overwhelming? When is it right to say “no” and when should we accept the opportunity to meet a need in our church or community or help a neighbor? When is the need to be still and find restorative times of quiet a greater priority than activity?
Luke repeatedly makes it clear that one of the very important things that Jesus consistently chose to do was to go to a quiet place and pray. Sometimes He went early in the morning, or even throughout the night time hours, to a place where He would not be disturbed. At other times, we are told that “He was praying in private and His disciples were with Him” (Luke 9: 18*), so apparently He knew how to withdraw from the people around Him in order to communicate with His Father. He also prayed joyfully out loud at times, so that His prayers could be heard by those around Him.
Jesus had the confidence to know and trust that what His Father wanted Him to accomplish would be done. As He stayed in total dependence and awareness of His mission, He had a sense of priorities that gave Him daily peace and rest. He modeled for us the truth that says, “If you do God’s will all of the time, you will always have time to do all of God’s will”. God will never ask me to do more than I can accomplish through the power and presence of the Holy Spirit. That gives me peace and rest. It also energizes me. How about you?