by Rev Joel Yong
He sent and had John beheaded in the prison, and his head was brought on a platter and given to the girl, and she brought it to her mother. And his disciples came and took the body and buried it, and they went and told Jesus. Now when Jesus heard this, he withdrew from there in a boat to a desolate place by himself. But when the crowds heard it, they followed him on foot from the towns. When he went ashore he saw a great crowd, and he had compassion on them and healed their sick.
Jesus was no doubt, affected by news of the death of John the Baptist.
He was his relative.
He was also the forerunner – a special messenger of God sent to prepare the people for the coming of the Messiah.
John’s death foreshadowed Jesus’ own death and was a remindee that Jesus’ own demise was near.
No wonder Jesus withdrew and wanted to spend time alone.
But the people didn’t seem to realize that he was in pain or aware of his needs.
They just wanted ministry from Him. So they followed him.
In today’s world- being hounded so, any teacher would lose his cool.
After all, is a man supposed to keep giving and giving and not be allowed time out to grieve?
But Jesus did not.
Instead, we read that he had compassion on the crowds he saw and healed their sick.
His love for the struggling people overwhelmed his own grief and concern for himself.
Many people think “What will happen to me if I do this?”
Jesus ran counter to such a perspective.
He thought “What will happen to them if I do not do this?”
Now, aren’t you glad that the thought of rejection, betrayal, nails and whips etc didn’t turn Jesus away from coming for you?
He is our amazing God and worthy of our praise forever.