MOURNING IN MINISTRY
There are days when you mourn in ministry and through ministry. There is no greater example of this as we read what Matthew has to say about Jesus when he heard about the news of John the Baptist, the one who prepared the way for Jesus and the one who was a family member. Jesus, human and God in the flesh, tried to go away to a remote place to mourn but the crowds “heard where he was headed” and followed Him there.
True compassion knows no bounds. Seeing their needs, his own grief over John was displayed in loving ministry to heal the sick. Jesus knows what we need when we mourn and sends us right back into ministry, too. Serving others while helping them find and follow Jesus is a great way to handle our own losses in life. What we gain in losing is more spiritual knowledge as we strive to be more and more like Him.
Do we dwell in our mourning or continue in ministry? That is the mark of a true believer in Jesus who seeks to be more and more like Him and less like our selfish selves who seek pity and pats on the back for attention in our mourning.
Jesus went right back to work, doing what God had asked Him to do. Thank you, Jesus.
Matthew—The Law Fulfilled
Matthew 14:1-21, NLT
The Death of John the Baptist
14 When Herod Antipas, the ruler of Galilee, heard about Jesus, 2 he said to his advisers, “This must be John the Baptist raised from the dead! That is why he can do such miracles.”
3 For Herod had arrested and imprisoned John as a favor to his wife Herodias (the former wife of Herod’s brother Philip). 4 John had been telling Herod, “It is against God’s law for you to marry her.” 5 Herod wanted to kill John, but he was afraid of a riot, because all the people believed John was a prophet.
6 But at a birthday party for Herod, Herodias’s daughter performed a dance that greatly pleased him, 7 so he promised with a vow to give her anything she wanted. 8 At her mother’s urging, the girl said, “I want the head of John the Baptist on a tray!” 9 Then the king regretted what he had said; but because of the vow he had made in front of his guests, he issued the necessary orders. 10 So John was beheaded in the prison, 11 and his head was brought on a tray and given to the girl, who took it to her mother. 12 Later, John’s disciples came for his body and buried it. Then they went and told Jesus what had happened.
Jesus Feeds Five Thousand
13 As soon as Jesus heard the news, he left in a boat to a remote area to be alone. But the crowds heard where he was headed and followed on foot from many towns. 14 Jesus saw the huge crowd as he stepped from the boat, and he had compassion on them and healed their sick.
15 That evening the disciples came to him and said, “This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. Send the crowds away so they can go to the villages and buy food for themselves.”
16 But Jesus said, “That isn’t necessary—you feed them.”
17 “But we have only five loaves of bread and two fish!” they answered.
18 “Bring them here,” he said. 19 Then he told the people to sit down on the grass. Jesus took the five loaves and two fish, looked up toward heaven, and blessed them. Then, breaking the loaves into pieces, he gave the bread to the disciples, who distributed it to the people. 20 They all ate as much as they wanted, and afterward, the disciples picked up twelve baskets of leftovers. 21 About 5,000 men were fed that day, in addition to all the women and children!
Abba, Father in Heaven,
Hallowed be your Name. May Your Kingdom come and reign in us and all around us. May Your Will be done in everyday life, in all the details of life on earth as it is in heaven. Take charge of my life. Transform me. Change my mind to think more like you so I will behave more like you. Yes, give us this day words that tell us what you want from us for today. And forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Lead us not into temptations but deliver us from the evil one who seeks to destroy who we are and who we follow. For you have all power. To you be all glory, honor and praise forevermore!
In Jesus Name, Amen