And straightway Jesus constrained his disciples to get into a ship, and to go before him unto the other side, while he sent the multitudes away. And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone. But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary. And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea. – Matthew 14.22-25
Jesus was sad about John’s death. He was exhausted. When He first tried to get away a vast multitude followed Him and He performed the amazing miracle of the bread and the fishes. When He is done He sends the disciples away and He tries to get alone and pray, but…
Shortly into His prayer time, when Jesus is all alone, we read ‘but the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves in the strong winds.’ Jesus knew about their danger so at once picks up and goes down to the sea, walking on the water.
More on that amazing walk later, but what caught my eye is how Jesus puts the needs of others before His own needs and desires. All He wanted to do was to get alone and pray, but others kept distracting Him. Who would have blamed Him for saying ‘I really need to go pray, somebody will feed those people and those disciples can handle that storm?’ After all, He had spiritual things that needed to be done!
But that’s not what He did. He stopped and fed the 5000. He went to care for the disciples. He put others first.
Sure, it is vital that we spend time in prayer and study and meeting with other believers. That is clear from the word of God. We neglect those disciplines at our own peril.
But let us also be aware and deal with real valid needs of others when the needs arise.