Mark 6:30-31 Then the apostles gathered to Jesus and told Him all things, both what they had done and what they had taught. And He said to them, “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.
I think when we read the scriptures we sometimes make assumptions. One of those assumptions might be that the gospels are just a series of stories about Jesus. But God has given something really awesome in the four gospels. We have a very complete, very detailed record of the life of Jesus from the beginning of His ministry to His ascension into heaven. We see here in Mark 6, verses 30-31 that Jesus and His disciples were very busy … so much so, in fact, that they hadn’t had time to even eat.
You know what this means? It means that Jesus and His disciples put other people ahead of themselves. It’s not something we see much of these days. In fact, much of what is deemed Christian literature and much of what comes from the pulpit these days is rooted in the idea of self … self-esteem, self reliance, self help. Self Help books have no business mixed up in Christian Literature. The answer is not us and never has been us. The answer is and will always be Jesus and the model Jesus gave us in His earthly ministry was one of self denial.
Philippians 2:3 Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.
You know, it’s funny how when we talk about things like tithing or serving … things that teach us to put others before ourselves, we can turn it around by asking the question, “What will God give us if we do that?” God knows that we are motivated by rewards and so He tells us we will have rewards in heaven. Yet the mindset of, “Lord, if I do this, what’s in it for me?” in regards to earthly advancement and gain is so pervasive among Christians today. God does tell us in Malachi 3 to test Him in our giving … see if we can out give Him. We can’t. But let’s challenge ourselves to get beyond any “what’s in it for me” self seeking and be Kingdom minded instead. Rewards in Heaven are ours … no doubt about it. So, why are we concerned about what we have on earth?
Luke 6:38 Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.”
Even God’s promise of out-giving our giving calls us to be others minded instead of self seeking. Once we have accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savior, life should no longer be about what we want. Instead, it should be about our concern for what others lack. Jesus looked at the multitudes and had compassion for them … even though He and His disciples were hungry, what mattered the most to Him was seeing that the multitude was filled. Compassion is seeing others not for what they don’t have but for Who they need.