Can leaving people be loving people?

If I’m trying to be like Jesus, understanding his priorities is paramount.
Luke 5:15-16 recently surprised me:
“great crowds gathered to hear him and to be healed of their infirmities. But he would withdraw to desolate places and pray”
There’s a clear opportunity to help people and he leaves. Why would he do this?
Instead of spending time preaching and healing people, Jesus chooses to withdraw and pray. Is he possibly leaving someone still searching for healing? To me, my instinct says Jesus is being selfish or foolish.
Is Jesus choosing not to love these people??
Or is he simply showing what’s important in life? Is love more complicated than I often make it?
Sometimes my service of others is so self-serving. I need to help others because it gives me some sense of purpose. I want my actions to point to me, not God.

Instead Jesus points to the only one who brings true purpose and satisfaction.

My challenge is not to get so caught up in “good” things that I miss the most important one.

I am not called to constant action or performance. First and foremost, I am called to point towards the God who brings eternal healing.

This verse tells me that there is a balance to life. We don’t function well when we’re not first spending time being loved by the father.

It feels like the practical application of John 15
“I am the true vine … Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.

Withdraw. Connect to the vine. Disconnected branches wither away. Abide in him so that his joy will be in you, and your joy may be full.

We can only love when we let him love us first – 1 John 4:19


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