When the apostles returned, they reported to Jesus what they had done. Then he took them with him and they withdrew by themselves to a town called Bethsaida, “but the crowds learned about it and followed him. He welcomed them and spoke to them about the kingdom of God, and healed those who needed healing. (Luke 9:10-11)
When my children were small, they attended a Montessori school on a farm. My son decided it was cruel to keep the sheep locked up in a pen, so he let them out. His teacher was right behind him, but the sheep were fast and ran everywhere. The weary teacher gathered her sheep.
Mark tells us the crowd ran on foot from all the towns and got to Bethsaida before Jesus and the apostles. He describes them as sheep without a shepherd. Most of them were poor and not taken care of spiritually by the Pharisees who spoke only to the wealthy influential. The crowd needed healing so the Shepherd told them about the kingdom of God. Jesus had compassion for His sheep, so their needs surpassed the apostle’s need for rest
Galatians 6:9 tells us: “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” And the apostles are about to reap a harvest.
Father God, I’m weary. Take me into your arms and give me rest. Renew me with the power of Your Spirit and send me back into the world, thinking about the good I can do, and doing it. Don’t let me give up so I can rejoice in the harvest. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.