Rest & Refreshment

We all need rest. Rest allows us to refresh, to replenish, to be ready for the next challenge that is ahead. Whether it be a sports team that takes a break between heats or innings or periods in the game, or a person working hard at their job throughout the day, we all need rest. God set the example for us when He rested on the seventh day of creation. And He wasn’t even tired!

  • How do you unwind after a busy day?

Read Mark 6:30-44 (HCSB)
30 The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to Him all that they had done and taught. 31 He said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a remote place and rest for a while.” For many people were coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat. 32 So they went away in the boat by themselves to a remote place, 33 but many saw them leaving and recognized them. People ran there by land from all the towns and arrived ahead of them. 34 So as He stepped ashore, He saw a huge crowd and had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. Then He began to teach them many things.

35 When it was already late, His disciples approached Him and said, “This place is a wilderness, and it is already late! 36 Send them away, so they can go into the surrounding countryside and villages to buy themselves something to eat.”

37 “You give them something to eat,” He responded. They said to Him, “Should we go and buy 200 denarii worth of bread and give them something to eat?”

38 And He asked them, “How many loaves do you have? Go look.” When they found out they said, “Five, and two fish.”

39 Then He instructed them to have all the people sit down in groups on the green grass. 40 So they sat down in ranks of hundreds and fifties. 41 Then He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, He blessed and broke the loaves. He kept giving them to His disciples to set before the people. He also divided the two fish among them all. 42 Everyone ate and was filled. 43 Then they picked up 12 baskets full of pieces of bread and fish. 44 Now those who ate the loaves were 5,000 men.

Now read Mark 6:30-44 in The Message (MSG)
30 The apostles then rendezvoused with Jesus and reported on all that they had done and taught. 31 Jesus said, “Come off by yourselves; let’s take a break and get a little rest.” For there was constant coming and going. They didn’t even have time to eat.

32 So they got in the boat and went off to a remote place by themselves. 33 Someone saw them going and the word got around. From the surrounding towns people went out on foot, running, and got there ahead of them. 34 When Jesus arrived, he saw this huge crowd. At the sight of them, his heart broke—like sheep with no shepherd they were. He went right to work teaching them.

35 When his disciples thought this had gone on long enough—it was now quite late in the day—they interrupted: “We are a long way out in the country, and it’s very late. 36 Pronounce a benediction and send these folks off so they can get some supper.”

37 Jesus said, “You do it. Fix supper for them.” They replied, “Are you serious? You want us to go spend a fortune on food for their supper?”

38 But he was quite serious. “How many loaves of bread do you have? Take an inventory.”

That didn’t take long. “Five,” they said, “plus two fish.” 39 Jesus got them all to sit down in groups of fifty or a hundred—they looked like a patchwork quilt of wildflowers spread out on the green grass! 40 41 He took the five loaves and two fish, lifted his face to heaven in prayer, blessed, broke, and gave the bread to the disciples, and the disciples in turn gave it to the people. He did the same with the fish. 42 They all ate their fill. 43 The disciples gathered twelve baskets of leftovers. 44 More than five thousand were at the supper.

Consider these questions:

  • Why did the disciples need a rest? How were they intending to spend their rest time? (see verses 30-32)
  • How did Jesus actually provide rest and refreshment for everyone around Him? (see verses 33-44)
  • The disciples thought they were getting a break (v 31), but they ended up serving. What does this passage say to you about the use of your free time?
  • How can you use your free time this week in a God-pleasing way?

Prayer: Thank you for the rest you give to my body, my mind and my soul. Give me the wisdom to know how to balance the right amount of work and rest each day, and throughout each week. And while I am resting, remind me of the lessons that I learned in Mark 6:30-44 about rest, refreshment and serving others, living my life in a God-pleasing way. AMEN.

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