Fame And Fatigue
'Come aside by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.' For there were many coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat. So they departed to a deserted place in the boat by themselves. But the multitudes saw them departing, and many knew Him and ran there on foot from all the cities. They arrived before them and came together to Him.
Mark 6:31-33 (NKJV)
By this time in Jesus' life, He was famous. Crowds followed Him everywhere. His twelve apostles became famous too, because He had recently given them power and sent them out to preach, to heal, and to cast out demons.
When today's scripture begins, the twelve had returned tired from their amazing mission. They 'Did not even have time to eat.'
Imagine yourself performing miracles like Jesus. Imagine tears and cheers. Imagine fame and fatigue. So your Manager (Who knows all about fame) suggests that you retreat and rest awhile.
But crowds run to follow you and your amazing Boss. They anticipate your path and beat you there. Jesus' reaction? 'He received them and spoke to them about the kingdom of God, and healed those who had need of healing' (Luke 9:11).
Most likely, neither Jesus nor His disciples got to eat or rest that day. Surely, fatigue and hunger pressed in on them.
'When the day began to wear away, the twelve came and said to Him, 'Send the multitude away, that they may go into the surrounding towns and country, and lodge and get provisions' ' (Luke 9:12). Undoubtedly, they were not only considering the welfare of the crowd, but also their own.
Jesus' reaction? 'You give them something to eat' (Luke 9:13). Their reaction? Protest. 'We have no more than five loaves and two fish.' You know the end of the story: another huge miracle. 5000 were fed.
The take home lesson is about priorities. Actors, models, and talent for Christ must learn them. Rest and retreat balance fame and fatigue. Jesus set the example; 'He departed again to the mountain by Himself alone' (John 6:15).
But loving and helping His followers were even more important. No matter the cost to Himself, He never turned His back to them. He never sent them away hungry. His fans were neither the 'product' nor the 'cost' of His fame. They were the purpose for it.
Therefore, God's performers must never ignore a beggar at their gates (see Luke 16:19-31) nor a fan at their elbows.