“he withdrew from there in a boat by himself to a solitary place.” Matthew 14:13 tells us that Jesus went away from the crowds to spend time alone with his disciples because he had just gotten the news about the death of his cousin, the great prophet John the Baptist. That is true, but it is only part of the reason Jesus wanted some time alone with his disciples. The Gospel of Mark omits the part about Jesus being told about John’s death, although that might be assumed in the record, but Mark adds another reason Jesus wanted to get away with his disciples. Jesus had sent out the Twelve to go to the cities of Israel and heal the sick, cast out demons, and proclaim the Good News about the Kingdom of God (Mark 6:7-12). When the disciples gathered back to Jesus, he wanted to make sure they had some rest time, because they were not even getting enough time to eat (Mark 6:30-32).
Once again we can learn an important lesson from Jesus Christ: self-care is important. Many people are not good at taking care of themselves, and that is to their hurt. We only have one body, and if we want to do well in life and be mentally, physically, and emotionally whole and healed, we have to take care of it. We have to rest, eat well, get exercise, and think godly thoughts. But the Devil and the world are very good at talking us out of those things. Christians need to learn that saying “Yes” to one thing is saying “No” to another, and we must have the discipline to say “No,” even to things we want to do, if we have not yet said “Yes” to the things we need to do for ourselves. Many good and fun things are not good if they keep us from godly self-care.