Matthew 12: 14-15. “Then the Pharisees went out, and held a council against Him, how they might destroy Him. But when Jesus knew it, He withdrew Himself from thence: and great multitudes followed Him, and He healed them all.”
They look impressive, don’t they? Rich, ostentatious clothing; snowy beards and fancy prayer shawls. On the outside, they were the picture of piety.
On the inside, they were full of themselves. They were malicious in their hatred of Jesus, Who had done them no harm. So what was their problem? Simply put, they couldn’t respond to Him when He asked them simple questions. And when they questioned Him, He always had a simple–and undebatable–response. He challenged their authority just by His existence. They couldn’t stand it, and they began to conspire to destroy Him.
Sometimes I have imagined their conversation:
“So, my friends, what are we going to do about this crazy man who thinks he’s God? Blasphemy!”
“Can’t we just accuse him of that, of blasphemy, and have him taken out and stoned?”
“We could, but it’s possible the rabble that follows him all over would turn on us! He has them hypnotized! I think he has a demon, to have so much power. Of course, the people are simple and know no better, but we certainly do!”
“Yes. Yes, we’re going to have to use some caution and some cunning to get rid of this one. Usually, when these prophets spring up out of nowhere, they burn out quickly. Not this one. This one’s going to take some special handling. But we’re up to it!”
When Jesus knew what the Pharisees were up to, and I think He knew it pretty quickly, we are told that He withdrew Himself. It wasn’t time yet for Him to go to the cross. He still had much to do, much to teach and preach, before that time came.
The multitudes continued to follow Him, and we are told He healed them all. No wonder there were times when He was weary, and needed to rest. Ministering to others is not a simple thing, and it drains one’s energy and emotions. There is a need for restoration.
If Jesus needed to rest, then so do we.