Two weeks ago I stood on the shore of the Sea of Galilee at Capernaum where Jesus did most of His ministry.
And I listened.
The breeze ruffled the water and ironically, a rooster crowed in the distance.
Was the Lord reminding me of my “Peter-ness”? My tendencies to run fast and crash hard and get so excited that I don’t make wise choices?
Mark writes of Jesus’ time here, “So many people were coming and going they didn’t even have time to eat.”
He heals and teaches and gives the Sermon on the Mount and walks on water and feeds a crowd of 5000. To say Jesus and his gang were busy would be an understatement.
This is where Jesus and Peter, and the rest listen too.
This is where they hear exclamations of wonder and amazement and thanks and praise from the crowds. Cheers.
As tired and depleted as Jesus and the disciples must have felt, it was an exciting time. A “Hosanna!” time.
Jesus has “it” and his posse were the cool kids at this point.
In John 12:19 the pharisees say, “look how the whole world has gone after him”
If Jesus lived today, crowds would be doing the “wave” and Peter would be taking selfies with Him.
But in Matthew 14:22-23 it says, Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray.
John’s version says: “Jesus, knowing that they intended to come and make him king by force, withdrew again to a mountain by himself.”
So Jesus sends the disciples off by THEMselves, while He goes up on the mountain by HIMself.
Like parents with a toddler who’s amped up with ALL THE FEELS, maybe Jesus knows that everyone needs a little “time out” to settle down and quiet the voices of the crowds.
Later, the cheers turn to jeers of “Crucify Him!”
Jesus knows that things are going to get ugly, and again He withdraws. This time to the Garden of Gethsemane.
Jesus isn’t dependent on the cheers of the crowd, or defeated by the jeers of the crowd.
Whether He’s being cheered or jeered Jesus knows He needs to make space to hear the One voice that matters.
One of the most neglected practices in my life is just this Centering Prayer – silent awareness, listening not to the cheers or jeers of the culture, but to the still small Voice that says “I am your Creator and Redeemer. I love you and that’s all that matters.”
All the cheers and all the jeers are powerless before the cross. He is risen and we have eternal life in Him. No matter what.
And so we pray…
Guide me Into an Unclenched Moment by Ted Loder
into an unclenched moment,
a deep breath,
a letting go
of heavy expectancies,
of shriveling anxieties,
of dead uncertainties,
that, softened by the silence,
surrounded by the light,
and open to the mystery,
I may be found by wholeness,
upheld by the unfathomable,
entranced by the simple,
and filled with the joy
that is You.