Humble Hero


Christ and the Twelve Take a Vacation

This chapter is based on Matthew 14:1, 2, 12, 13; Mark 6:30-32; Luke 9:7-10.

When they returned from their missionary tour, “the apostles gathered to Jesus and told Him all things, both what they had done and what they had taught. And He said to them, ‘Come aside by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.’” HH 163.1

The disciples’ close relationship with Jesus encouraged them to tell Him about their good and bad experiences as evangelists. As they frankly told Christ of their experiences, He saw that they needed much instruction. He saw, too, that they needed rest. HH 163.2

But where they were then, they could not find privacy, “for there were many coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat.” The people were crowding around Christ, anxious to be healed and eager to listen to His words. To many, He seemed to be the Fountain of all blessings. HH 163.3

But now Christ longed to be away from the crowds because He had much to say to His disciples. Sometimes in their work, they had been very troubled to know what to do. Now they needed to go to a place of seclusion where they could talk privately with Jesus and receive instruction for future work. They had been putting their whole souls into labor for the people, and this was exhausting their physical and mental strength. It was their duty to rest. HH 163.4

As the disciples had seen their work succeed, they were in danger of taking credit to themselves, of cherishing spiritual pride, and falling under Satan’s temptations. They must learn that their strength was not in themselves but in God. They needed to spend time with Christ, with nature, and with their own hearts. HH 163.5

It was about this time that Jesus received the news of John the Baptist’s death. This brought vividly to His mind the end to which His own steps were leading. Priests and rabbis were watching, spies followed Him closely, and plots for His destruction were multiplying. HH 163.6

News reached Herod of Jesus and His work. “This is John the Baptist,” he said, “he is risen from the dead”; and he expressed a desire to see Jesus. Herod was in constant fear of a revolution that might overthrow him and break the Roman yoke from the Jewish nation. Among the people, the spirit of revolt was everywhere. It was evident that Christ’s public work in Galilee could not continue long, and He yearned to get away from the confusion of the crowds for a little while. HH 163.7

With saddened hearts, the disciples of John had carried his mutilated body to its burial. Then they “went and told Jesus.” These disciples had been envious of Christ and had doubted His divine mission because He did not set the Baptist free. But now they longed for consolation in their great sorrow and for guidance regarding their future work. They came to Jesus and united their cause with His. HH 164.1

At the northern end of the lake was a lonely region, beautiful with the fresh green of spring. They set out in their boat for this place. The scenes of nature were a rest in themselves, refreshing to the senses. Here they could listen to Christ without the angry interruptions, rebuttals, and accusations of the scribes and Pharisees. HH 164.2