It's not what I have[.] It's what I have to give. A blog about resources--gaining, giving, and sharing.

15 June 2011

Matthew 8:18-22 – HIStoric REST

1:32 PM Posted by steve flores , 1 comment
“Now when Jesus saw a crowd around him, He gave orders to go over to the other side.”
It seemed Jesus dodged the crowd and it’s plausible He did.  Assuming Matthew was written in chronological order, the detailed events prior to this moment in scripture would tire the fittest of individuals!  Jesus came off one mountain where He did spiritual warfare with the devil, walked up another where He spoke for who knows how long time-wise (3 chapters worth), and then came down from that same mountain to be immediately met by a leper, a centurion, Peter’s mother-in-law, and many others.  He must be exhausted!  So as things pick up, as His popularity is rises, and as momentum builds, Jesus gives a command, “Let’s get out of here.  Let’s get away.”

As Jesus walked away to find rest (vv. 19-20),
“A scribe came up and said to him, ‘Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.’ And Jesus said to him, ‘Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.’"

My translation, “As Jesus was walking away to rest, someone interrupted Him.  Jesus told it like it is, ‘Are you sure you want to follow me?  If you do, you won’t have time to even rest, because even when you try to it gets interrupted.’”  I believe there was truth to His statement, but I’d also like to think there was an inside joke for His disciples because of where they were headed—to find rest. 

In the middle of this conversation, another guy chimed in (vv. 21-22),
“Another of the disciples said to him, ‘Lord, let me first go and bury my father.’  And Jesus said to him, ‘Follow me, and leave the dead to bury their own dead.’"

It sounds harsh, doesn’t it?  “Let the dead bury their own dead,” is in reference to the death of someone’s father.  I don’t want to get into what Jesus meant by that.  I think you can plug that quoted line into any Google search bar with another tag word, “commentary” and come up with conclusions.  But, I do want to share what I believe why He said that—urgency. 

Remember, they were leaving to go to “the other side,” and this man wanted Jesus to wait.  Jesus was ready to rest, because He needed it and so did His disciples.  If Jesus waited, who knows when He might have had a chance to rest?  As soon as He stepped off the mountain, He was immediately overwhelmed.  He met needs, because they were important, but He also determined that rest was too, thus the command.

If you feel overwhelmed, take a page out of Jesus’ book and find time to rest.  Sense the urgency to rest.  Stop, for just a moment and plan for the moment to rest, even if it is one hour of rest.  Life moves fast.  Find time to rest—His Rest.

What are your ideas of rest and relaxation?