Rest–Did Jesus Ever Take a Vacation?

No, there is no evidence that Jesus ever escaped to Disneyland, yet three or four biblical clues hint He did find some vacation time alone or with his family and/or disciples.

First Clue That Jesus Ever Took a Vacation

Despite the paintings of Medieval artists, no halo glowed around Jesus’ head. He looked normal to people. His family and townspeople saw nothing supernatural about Him. In fact, they couldn’t mentally grasp the divine side of His character. Nor could the Pharisees. Nor the Sadducees. Nor Pilate. To His half-brothers, he seemed “like one of them.” Nothing special. After all, he got hungry, tired, thirsty. He also got annoyed and angry, most likely at them.

But there was one relative with whom Jesus had a lot in common: John, who did have insight into his cousin and identified with his work. It’s not hard to imagine a bond between these two cousins. So when John was brutally beheaded in prison by the capricious despot Herod Antipas, it’s no wonder why Jesus wanted to “get away” by himself and spend some time alone.

Now when Jesus heard about John [the Baptist being executed], He withdrew from there in a boat to a secluded place by Himself . . .Mark 14:13

A vacation? Not exactly by our standards, but at the very least a time for reflection.

Rest–Did Jesus Ever Take a Vacation? Second Clue

And He said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a secluded place and rest a while.” (For there were many people coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat.) Mark 6:31

The price of notoriety was overtaking Jesus and His disciples. I have never walked in His sandals like this. Have you? We get harried, pressured and tired. We may skip meals occasionally. But to become so busy that eating is impossible for a lengthy time? Probably not.

No wonder He wanted to get away. Have you ever felt like you just needed to take a break for a few days? Or just need to take a ministry break and have some fun?

Rest–Third Clue

After this He went down to Capernaum, He and His mother and His brothers and His disciples; and they stayed there a few days. John 2:12

My wife spotted this verse years ago. “Jesus took a vacation?” We have several times laughed about it and joked, “Maybe we need a vacation too.”

What was in Capernaum that attracted Jesus so much that he invited his mother, in fact, his whole family along with his closest followers to this village?

First of all, Isaiah prophesied that it would become a light to the nations.

Isaiah 9:2-3 NIV Nevertheless, that time of darkness and despair will not go on forever. The land of Zebulun and Naphtali [where Capernaum is located] will be humbled, but there will be a time in the future when Galilee of the Gentiles, which lies along the road that runs between the Jordan and the sea, will be filled with glory.

Could it be that Jesus brought His mother, family, and close disciples to Capernaum to check out the site as a base for future operations. In Capernaum, Jesus preached his famous Light of the World sermon.

Or maybe he just liked the city. After all, it was a lakeside town. He did move to the city and spent a lot of time there. Five of His twelve disciples were from Capernaum. Plus, more recorded miracles took place in Capernaum than any other town.

Do you know any lakeside village where you’d like to move someday? Or maybe a mountain town? Why not arrange a little trip this weekend with family and friends?

Rest–Did Jesus Ever Take a Vacation? Fourth Clue

This is my favorite and final clue.

Jesus got up and went away from there to the region of Tyre. And when He had entered a house, He wanted no one to know of it; yet He could not escape notice. Mark 7:24-30

The Pharisees had just attacked Jesus over a picayune matter–something about washing hands. I think Jesus had “had enough.” Probably tired, He just wanted to get out of there. And when he got to Tyre. He didn’t want to talk to anybody, or see anybody. He didn’t even want anybody to know He was there.

Have you ever got to that point?

Then this woman came making a commotion and wanting His attention. He put her off as long as He could. But she was persistent. even rude. She kept calling–loudly! Eventually the disciples intervened, Send her away; she is shouting out after us! Jesus rejected her not once, but twice. But she was a desperate woman and would not go away.

Finally, Jesus responded and delivered the daughter.

What was going on? I don’t know for sure, but I think Jesus was tired and wanted rest. He was on vacation.

How ’bout you? Do you need a vacation?

Photo by Jakob Owens on Unsplash

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