On hearing of this, John’s disciples came and took his body and laid it in a tomb.
Jesus was familiar with losing friends and family members.
We assume he lost his step-father, Joseph, sometime in adolescences or early adulthood. The Gospels make no mention of Joseph beyond when Jesus was 12 years old.
And then there is Lazarus. Jesus was so touched by Lazarus’s passing that he wept publically. Weeping, though, isn’t the only thing Jesus did. Going to the tomb, He called the dead man’s name and Lazarus walked out of the tomb that contained him.
But then there was John the Baptist. Jesus and John shared a special connection while they were still in the womb. They shared a special connection to the ministry that God planned for both of them. And they were enduring the common misery their calling would demand of them.
In Mark 6, the evangelist tells the sordid story of how John the Baptist came to be beheaded. It had to do with lustful dancing and political intrigue. It’s not a PG rated story.
How did Jesus feel about John’s execution? He doesn’t tell us, but His actions speak louder than words. After a day of ministry and miracles, Jesus seeks solitude. He gathers His disciples into a boat so that they could leave the crowd behind and find comfort in each other and with God.
When we hurt, we need to grab our closest friends and pour our hearts out to them. We don’t know what Jesus said to the disciples about His personal feelings, but we know that Jesus loved John, and that John’s and Jesus’ ministry were intricately tied together.
When you have suffered the loss of someone close to you, who do you go to for comfort? Even Jesus had a group of friends whom He could take a boat excursion with for a break from the work of ministry and the pain of loss.
Be thankful for all of the people God puts in your life.
Be the kind of friend who finds themselves often in the boat of those who are mourning. Perhaps you will be the mourner someday as well, and you will be blessed by the presence of others who are gathered to share your sorrow.
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