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.
(Holy Bible, New Living Translation .)
Greta Garbo once said in an interview, “I have always been moody. When I was just a little child, as early as I can remember, I have wanted to be alone. I detest crowds, don’t like many people. I used to crawl into a corner and sit and think, think things over.”
When he walked this earth, Jesus was a person just like you and I (see Hebrews 2:17). He felt grief, just like we do. Jesus had just been told of the execution of John the Baptist. He wanted to be alone, just like we do.
But Jesus wasn’t a Garbo. He didn’t detest crowds, even when he wanted to be alone. He had compassion for them. He put down his own grief and tended theirs.
He wasn’t a Robert either. How often have I been so tied up in my own affairs, whether it be grief or happiness, and ignored the crowds? Maybe I didn’t go to a remote place to do it either – it is so easy to ignore a crowd when I am standing right in the middle of one!
Later in her life, Garbo made a statement, “I never said, ‘I want to be alone.’ I only said, ‘I want to be let alone.’ There is all the difference.”
I don’t want to be alone. I want to help others. But that’s easy to say.
Saying is not the same as doing. There is all the difference.
Jesus had compassion on the crowd AND healed their sick. Later the same day, he fed thousands of them.
It’s the AND that makes the difference. It’s the AND that will get me doing something.