“As Jesus was getting more popular,” Stan began, “Luke’s gospel records that Jesus would often get away by Himself to pray to His Father.”
Continuing, he said, “Luke mentions that there were ‘great multitudes’ that gathered to hear what Jesus had to say. In addition, many of them wanted healing from Jesus.”
“I think it’s likely,” Stan added, “that a lot of them just wanted healing rather than to really hear what Jesus had to say. Kind of like people today who only want what Jesus provides, rather than truly listening to Him.”
“How many is a ‘great multitude’?” I asked.
“I have no idea,” Stan replied, “but there were enough people that Jesus felt the need to get away by Himself to be alone with His Father. He probably did a lot of listening to what His Father had to say about dealing with all of those people.”
Stan then added, “I don’t have ‘great multitudes’ of people in my life that cause me to want to get away by myself, but I certainly can have ‘great multitudes’ of things in my life that interfere with my prayer time with God.”
“Great multitudes of things?” I replied.
“Yes,” Stan responded. “If I am not careful to keep the right perspective in my relationship with God, along with my need to be alone with Him to hear what He has to say, I can get way off of the path He intends for me.”
Continuing, he added, “If I don’t watch out continually, the ‘great multitude’ of self, along with the ‘great multitude’ of the world, the flesh, and the devil can and will get in the way of an ever-deepening relationship with God. Not a good thing!”
Concluding, he asked, “You have any ‘great multitudes’ you need to get away from?”
But the news about Him was spreading even further, and great multitudes were gathering to hear Him and to be healed of their sicknesses. But He Himself would often slip away to the wilderness and pray. Luke 5:15, 16.
Prayer: Thank you, Father, that you allow me to come before you in prayer. I confess that too often I allow “great multitudes” of things to get in the way of my wanting to be alone with you. Please forgive me. And please lead me in wanting to be alone with you so I can hear from you as to how you want our relationship to grow and to deepen. Please lead me in focusing on you and your voice, rather than on the “great multitudes” of distractions that get in the way of being alone with you. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Things to think (and journal) about:
1. What is your biggest take-away from this devotional?
2. What does this devotional say about God and about us as His people?
3. What is God saying to you to do personally?
4. Who can you share this with to make a difference?
Comments, questions, suggestions, and the like can be addressed to The Storyteller at: firstname.lastname@example.org.