44 Days Through the New Testament – Day 13
One of my favorite laughable moments in the gospels is found in John 6.
Perceiving then that they were about to come and take him by force to make him king, Jesus withdrew again to the mountain by himself. (John 6:15, ESV)
I can only imagine this scenario playing out. Jesus has just miraculously fed the 5,000, and this was on the heads of showing that He was equal with God. Now the people wanted to come and take him by force to make Him king.
Do they have any idea who they are dealing with, here? HE IS ALREADY KING. They do not need to try to take Him by force to make Him something that He already is. He is already the King Forever. But they can’t see it. They want Him to be a certain kind of king, and that is never going to happen.
People are funny sometimes. Too many times we want people to be the way that we want them to be. We struggle to appreciate who they really are. And worse, we struggle to encourage them to be who GOD created them to be.
Jesus was doing the will of the Father. He was doing exactly what the Father was telling Him to do… yet the people were not satisfied with the time table and wanted to take Him by force to make Him king.
The opening verse of chapter 8 gives us a bit of insight into the secret life of Jesus.
… Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. (John 8:1, ESV)
What is so interesting about this simple verse? Jesus was a creature of habit. He habitually withdrew to lonely places to pray, and one of His favorite places, it seems, was the Mount of Olives.
The Mount of Olives is a nice, quiet range of hills overlooking the Temple Mount. It is between Bethany and Jerusalem. Jesus passed through this area often, and it appears that He spent a LOT of time praying in the Mount of Olives.
I remember being in the Mount of Olives just a little over a year ago and taking the time to just be alone with God to pray. It was a serene and meaningful time. This pattern of private prayer, it seems, was a regular custom for Jesus. Has it become a regular custom for you?
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