“At daybreak he departed and went into a deserted place. And the crowds were looking for him; and when they reached him, they wanted to prevent him from leaving them.” – Luke 4:42
At daybreak the next morning, Jesus goes to a solitary place. This is the regular practice of Jesus, highlighted all through the Gospel accounts. I find it fascinating that Jesus does not engage the crowds constantly. There were always needs around him. But he is not in continuous interaction with either his own inner circle or with the masses of people. At significant moments in his life, he withdraws from the press and pull of other people, in order to have time alone in silence and solitude with the Father.
This is an essential part of who he is and an essential part of his life-rhythm. This is his time for prayer, his time for meditation, his time to reflect on the trajectory of his ministry, his time to reconnect in a tangible way with the Father. In these moments, he is reminded of his center, the connection to his Father that anchors his life.
When Jesus, in other places, says “I only do what I see the Father doing” and “I only say what I hear the Father saying,” these are the moments he is referring to. It is only in this kind of silence and solitude that you can truly hear the still, small voice of God. It is only in these moments of meditation and spiritual reflection that you can see what God is doing in the world and then integrate that into your own life.
These moments of pause, when he is not surrounded by people, are essential for Jesus as he steps more fully into his mission and ministry.