So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place. But many who saw them leaving recognized them and ran on foot from all the towns and got there ahead of them. Mark 6, 32-33.
Sometimes you can’t get enough of a good thing.
One of the first-world issues with which I’m dealing this week is ‘which concert to select.’ This Spring, two concerts are coming to North Texas and I really want to see both. Jimmy Buffett, who I’ve seen four times before, is playing on May 30th. Huey Lewis is opening for him. I think it’ll be a great concert. Competing for my viewing pleasure are the Rolling Stones, the Strolling Bones, who I’ve never seen in concert and who have been playing concerts since before I was even on Planet Earth. The Stones are playing in Arlington a week after Buffett plays Frisco, and while I don’t know if anyone is opening for Mick & the boys, I do know that they won’t be touring for many more years since, these days, the members of the band are more prone to hip replacement than youthful vigor. For all intents & purposes, you could say the same thing about Jimmy Buffett who’s no spring chicken either yet, as I mentioned, I’ve already seen him before.
Now, I don’t go to many concerts; it’s been two years since I’ve even been to one. In a world of 6.5 billion people where 6.490 billion have never even been to a concert, this is still a pretty good statistic. I really would like to see the Stones in concert before one of them breaks a hip or something like that.
Am I seriously drawing a parallel between rock concerts and the work of Jesus? Sure! Why not? Is there a reason why I shouldn’t? After all, common people like me like to go see famous singers strut around and sing songs with which we can sing along. It was common people (and uncommon people and rich people and poor people and all kinds of people) with whom Jesus palled around. The disciples were common people who were commonly exhausted by spending time on the highways and hedges of Judea preaching about the Good News. They were exhausted because working with needy people (also known as “us”) is exhausting. It’s emotionally taxing, physically draining, and spiritual exhilarating.
So Jesus does a common thing and invites them to rest. After all, real peace and real rest is found only truly in Him. Yet do they get to do that? Do they get to go away and relax? Nope. The people dug what Jesus and the Apostles were doing. They were into the message of love, repentance, forgiveness, and Godly power that these unusual Galileans were preaching. It wasn’t in-your-face but it was. It didn’t lord over them; it didn’t beat them down with rules and laws and a bunch of other stuff. The message that Jesus and His followers brought was new and vital, and the crowds couldn’t get enough. Long before Mick Jagger and Jimmy Buffett, crowds were into the kind of message Jesus brought. Think of the crowds in Judea as an extended rock concert long before electric guitars, light shows or Fin-guys walking through the crowd.
And I bet it was exhausting. Good exhaustion, I’m sure, to be a disciple and know you’re working directly for the King of Kings, but it must have taken a toll.
Lord, bless the crowds who can’t get enough of You. And bless rock concerts, too.
Read Mark 6, verses 30-44.