And from there he arose and went to Tyre and Sidon. And he entered a house and did not want anyone to know, yet he could not be hidden.--Mark 7:24
This morning, I was pondering the question "was Jesus an introvert?" I am not sure that is the right question, though scripture seems clear he appreciated being away from the crowds at times. One of my favorite passages of scripture comes from Mark 1:35-37, "And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed. And Simon and those who were with him searched for him, and they found him and said to him, 'Everyone is looking for you.'" Jesus was not constantly ministering to large crowds. He was not always in the public eye. Sometimes, it appears he just liked to be alone. In the Mark 1 passage, he went off by himself to pray even though, "everyone was looking for him."
We certainly do not know all of the context with this passage from Mark 7, but I wonder if Jesus and the disciples had been ministering for a while and he wanted to take a break from it to recharge. They probably went to the house of someone they knew in Tyre and Sidon, hoping to take a breather and recuperate before resuming ministry. I like to imagine that he just wanted to hang out with his friends--a retreat of sorts.
No sooner had the come to the house than a woman, a Gentile woman, found him and pleaded with him to heal her daughter. I doubt that he was exasperated. I doubt that he was impatient. Rather, he questioned her and then tells her that her daughter has been healed.
I wish my response would be that way more often. The older I get, the more I appreciate being alone or being just with family and close friends. When people show up at my door, my initial response is not always compassion, but exasperation. Just this week, I had someone show up and was initially irritated, but I pondered my reaction and was not pleased with it. I have been praying, asking God for a compassion like Christ's.
Daily Reading: Mark 7, Deuteronomy 2, 2 Corinthians 6, Revelation 18, Job 12, Psalm 9, Proverbs 9, 2 Chronicles 12, Hosea 6, Acts 19