Jesus has a great day.
He talks to 20,000 people about his dad. He talks to his dad about feeding 20,000 people. He talks to his followers about picking up the leftovers after the meal that he and his dad had prepared for the 20,000 people.
It was, by any measure, a wonderful day.
So what does he do to celebrate? Have an after-party? Take a nap? Sit around telling stories with his friends? Let the crowd remind him of how great he is?
He sends his closest followers away. He gets rid of the crowd. And he heads up a mountainside by the lake to talk with his dad. All night.
It’s the last thing that most of us would do. We would deserve to do something else. We would be thrilled by the success of the event. But I think for Jesus, there wasn’t an event. This wasn’t a performance, planned with script and moves and actors and tricks. This day was not on the agenda, at least from a human perspective.
Jesus had planned a day of solitude. His relative John had been killed by Herod. He knew that he was on Herod’s list, too. So Jesus headed for the hills to get away.
When he got to the beach at the foot of the hills, he found a crowd of 20,000 people. At the end of himself, from a human perspective, he felt compassion. He preached. He fed. He forgot about how he felt and took care of the people.
Then he took care of himself. He spent the night talking with someone who understood him, who cared about him, who knew the plan, the pressure, the risks, the rewards. He spent time with his dad.
When it goes well, do you get alone…or do you get with God?