The Parable of Saying NO.
The setting is some rocks by the sea of Galilee. (I don’t know why we always think of Jesus sitting on rocks – they had chairs back then, but I know that I do, and seriously, google “Jesus sitting on rocks”… apparently I am not alone.)
Jesus has been sitting there with thousands of Galileans gathered.
His immediate followers are gathered around and maybe there are children gathered at His feet.
He has been there all day and the line of people waiting to be healed and blessed by Him is longer at the end of the day than it was at the beginning.
The sun is starting to go down.
Peter and Philip are standing at the head of the line of people waiting to be healed.
Jesus leans over to Andrew, after setting a little boy back down after healing his blind eyes, and whispers in his ear.
Andrew walks over to his brother, Peter, and whispers in his.
Oh, did I forget to mention, you, in need of healing, are next in line?
Peter changes his grip on your arm, turns to face the line and calls out,
“The Rabbi is done for the day. He is headed back into town. We might be back out here tomorrow or He might be teaching in the synagogue. I am afraid you will have to look for Him tomorrow. He needs to pray and rest.”
As he says this, Jesus, clearly weary, gets up and walks away with His followers.
“One more minute.” You think.
But that’s the thing, isn’t it?
There is always one more minute.
Granted, we don’t have this exact story in the Bible, but it sure seems like it must have happened! We know Jesus left the crowds clamoring for Him – surely there were some people who wanted to be healed in those crowds.
The moral of the story?
My professor said something along these lines:
“When you are as efficient (1 minute?) and as effective (100%) as Jesus was,
maybe you have an excuse to not say “No…”
then maybe you have an excuse not to take time to spend time with your family, friends and God…
but until that time comes, you are just being prideful to think what you are doing is somehow more important than taking the time to spend time with friends and family (as He did), rest (as He did) and pray (as He did).
Lord, make me a leader in leading people to rest…
And when appropriate, to say no. Maybe, sometimes, saying “no” could even be an act of worship.
What do you think?