Southwest Airlines has an interesting fare type.  It’s called the Wanna Get Away fare.  It’s a non-refundable ticket that is often found at a lower price for those who definitely want to get out of Dodge for a while.  I don’t know about you, but this winter is certainly making me want to get out of here for a few days myself.  Getting away is a good thing.  Even Jesus wanted to get away every once in a while.

As soon as Jesus heard the news [about John the Baptist’s murder], 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.  Jesus saw the huge crowd as he stepped from the boat, and he had compassion on them and healed their sick (Matthew 14:13-14).

John the Baptist had just been beheaded by Herod – because apparently that’s the kind of thing that ends up happening when you get drunk and offer you step-daughter whatever she wants after she dances for you.  Jesus got word of his execution and is grieving.  He needed some time to himself; time to get away.  Unfortunately, it doesn’t happen.

Even in those times that we want to get away, the needs of the world are all around us.  In this instance, even Jesus couldn’t get away from that.  Thankfully, for those who followed him and for us, his capacity for compassion is much greater than his desire to be alone.  It’s not a bad thing to want to get away.  In fact, it’s perfectly natural.  But sometimes, our compassion tells us that it’s not yet time.

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