He said to them, "Come away by yourselves to a deserted place
and rest a while." People were coming and going in great
numbers, and they had no opportunity even to eat. So they
went off in the boat by themselves to a deserted place.
Jesus asks disciples to take rest.
But, it he who said that the harvest is plenty and the labourers
are few. (Mt 9,37)
It is he who sent his disciples with nothing to carry with except
the message. Because the mission was urgent and it has to
be completed in time. They had no time to sit and relax in stead
they had to dust their feet and move to next place.
How could such urgency be broken with rest in the desert?
Could we say that Jesus, though he was aware of the urgency
of the mission, was more human than many of us. When he
knew that his disciples had completed a course of activities,
then he also allowed them to have the needed rest.
When he sent them for a mission he gave them directions as to
what to carry and how to go about. But now they are just told
to be off and take rest. Nothing to do. It is only for a while.
Could this be to imitate God the creator who rested on the sabbath?
That is God created everything, then rested, then he continued
with the other works (providence, redemption etc).
Similarly this rest could be, to start other activities, for the disciples.
Whatever be Jesus says that rest is to have a break from the previous
activities; it is to move away from the place of ministry (to desert);
it is also to be far away form the people (not to be disturbed).
And it is for a while.