After hearing about all they had done, Jesus tells the apostles, “Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while” (Mark 6:31). The apostles listened and set out in a boat with Jesus away from where they were. However, word traveled and when they arrived at the deserted place, it was no longer that, for the crowd had followed.
Now it may seem like the apostles’ condition was no better in terms of stepping away with Jesus and getting some rest, but this is not the case. While the place that was to be deserted is now busy with a crowd of people, all in need of good works, we do not read about the apostles, who had been ministering to the needs of others prior to getting in the boat, forging ahead. They do not take it upon themselves, nor does Jesus tell them or lead them, to change course or carry on and keep working without rest. Rather, Jesus takes over, as always, ministering to the needs of the people.
Jesus takes care of both the apostles’ needs and those of all in the crowd—those who follow him. Just the same, when we seek to follow The Leader, one way or another, all that we honestly need is taken care of and provided, and the work, or rest, for us to do becomes clear.
Jesus sees all that is going on, and knows what is best.
The apostles gathered together with Jesus
and reported all they had done and taught.
He said to them,
“Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.”
People were coming and going in great numbers,
and they had no opportunity even to eat.
So they went off in the boat by themselves to a deserted place.
People saw them leaving and many came to know about it.
They hastened there on foot from all the towns
and arrived at the place before them.
When he disembarked and saw the vast crowd,
his heart was moved with pity for them,
for they were like sheep without a shepherd;
and he began to teach them many things.
– Mark 6:30-34