Immediately Jesus made his disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to Bethsaida, while he dismissed the crowd. After leaving them, he went up on a mountainside to pray.
When evening came, the boat was in the middle of the lake, and he was alone on land.
As I read the Gospels, I find that Jesus loved the mountains. He went there often to seek solitude and to pray. I don’t think that the disciples ever realized the importance of this part of the Lord’s ministry until after the resurrection.
There were many times where the best thing for Him to do was to dismiss the crowds and to send away His disciples in order to be alone with the Father. This was one of those times. He had just ministered to thousands of people. That can be very draining no matter who you are.
When the Lord took on flesh and blood, He chose to live as one of us. Because of this, Jesus was bound by the same physical limitations that we are. He learned that you cannot just keep giving out to others. You must also take something in that can recharge your own spiritual batteries.
It was in these mountains of prayer that Jesus was able to renew His Spirit. He would seek the Father’s face and by the Spirit, hear the plan for the road ahead. In that way He could fulfill the work He was called to do without burning Himself out doing it.
That needs to be a lesson for us. If Jesus needed this time with the Father, how much more should we be seeking the presence of the Lord in our daily lives. Take the time necessary today to renew and refresh yourself in the presence of the Lord. You will be glad you did.