Last week, we opened a dialogue about Biblical rest, focusing on the first two characteristics we can take from God’s Word- that we must “Obey Jesus’ Command” of rest, and “Process the Season” we are in. To check out the first section of our Biblical Rest series, click here. Read on to see our next two takeaways from the Word about Biblical Rest.
Characteristic #3: Choose Companions Who Refresh You!
‘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.”
It is likely an intentional choice by the Gospel writer to repeat the phrases “deserted place” and “by yourselves/themselves.” His repetition was not necessary for the reader to understand that the ministry group departed for this time of rest, as Jesus had previously directed. Mark seems to be making a point about companionship in resting. The phrase “desolate place” is set in contrast to the crowds (v. 31, 33) not the other disciples themselves. In other words, a “deserted place” here doesn’t mean “alone.” Jesus’ nuanced point of instruction about rest here is not that desolation must always mean isolation from all people (although there may be a place for this type of rest as well).
Jesus’ point here: who the disciples were with while they rested was just as important as the desolate location where they rested. As you rest and process a busy season of life, choose to surround yourself with people who refresh you, realign your thinking, and give biblical perspective as you process your busy season of life. When possible, avoid those who zap you of your energy or distract your focus.
Characteristic #4: Be Silent before God!
“…For there were many coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat.”
Could there be a better statement about the hubbub of a busy and hectic life? The disciples ministered to the masses, who were so focused on the disciples and their ministry work that they didn’t even have time to eat! This poignant and descriptive phrase really is the basis for Jesus’ command for them to come aside and rest in a deserted place. This statement emphasizes in bold tones the wisdom of Jesus, as he trains these up and coming ministry leaders after their first formal ministry experience. Significantly, Jesus models this principle later in the chapter, as He departs by Himself to pray (6:45-46).
Biblical rest should involve space to get away from the noise and be silent before God.
Make sure to check back next Friday to read the conclusion of this series, and join us as we learn and grow in Biblical Rest.