Life can be challenging at times for any number of reasons. We may be very tired when we have to make a very important family decision, one of our children is asking us to do something and we have to meet a deadline for work, another person has hurt us emotionally by the words he or she has spoken, many people may be “pulling” us in many different directions, or maybe you made a decision about something and not everyone is happy with that decision. Everyone is faced with circumstances that may be challenging to deal with in one way or another. I am sure that you can come up with a few examples where life is challenging, and you feel that you need to take a break from everything that is going on in life at a given moment in time. Whatever you are confronted with or whatever you are dealing with at a particular time in your life, it may be a good idea to take a break from everything and go on a retreat. The retreat you experience may be by yourself, with a spouse, with a good friend, with another couple, or with a group of family members.
Jesus Christ experienced some tough times during His three-year ministry. We need to understand that He faced many different situations that were challenging and very difficult to deal with, just like you and me. The following Scripture passages document a few examples of challenging circumstances that Jesus faced during his lifetime.
- Matthew 21:23 – ”When he had come into the temple area, the chief priests and the elders of the people approached him as he was teaching and said, ‘By what authority are you doing these things? And who gave you this authority?’”
- Mark 1:12-13 – “At once the Spirit drove him out into the desert, and he remained in the desert for forty days, tempted by Satan. He was among wild beasts, and the angels ministered to him.”
- Luke 4:28-30 – “When the people in the synagogue heard this, they were all filled with fury. They rose up, drove him out of the town, and led him to the brow of the hill on which their town had been built, to hurl him down headlong. But he passed through the midst of them and went away.”
- John 2:13-16 – “Since the Passover of the Jews was near, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. He found in the temple area those who sold oxen, sheep, and doves, as well as the money-changers seated there. He made a whip out of cords and drove them all out of the temple area, with the sheep and oxen, and spilled the coins of the money-changers and overturned their tables, and to those who sold doves he said, ‘Take these out of here, and stop making my Father’s house a marketplace.’”
Times like these may have resulted in Jesus going on a retreat in order to take a break from what He was confronted with and had to face during His lifetime. Life was challenging for Jesus as a human being, just like it is challenging for you and me. Jesus needed retreats to “get away” from different circumstances that were going on in His life. Not only can we use Jesus as an example for how we live our lives on a daily basis, but we can also use Jesus as an example for knowing that we should go on retreats to benefit ourselves and for our own well-being, which will consequently and hopefully benefit others.
Whether Jesus was alone or whether He was with a group of people like His Apostles, retreats were beneficial to Him. Jesus’ time alone and His fellowship with others were opportunities for Him to refresh Himself mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Retreats that Jesus experienced may be the types of retreats that can benefit you in a number of different ways also. Use the list of Gospel passages below to read about some of the retreats that Jesus experienced by himself, with one other person, or with a group of friends. I hope and pray that you enjoy these as much as I do … not just reading each one, but also going on retreats that are similar to the ones that Jesus experienced!
Matthew 3:13-17 Mark 1:9-11 Luke 2:46-47 John 1:29-34
Matthew 5:1-12 Mark 1:34-35 Luke 2:49 John 4:4-7
Matthew 9:10 Mark 2:15-17 Luke 3:21-22 John 6:1-3
Matthew 14:12-13 Mark 3:7 Luke 4:16-21 John 6:11-15
Matthew 14:16-20 Mark 3:13-19 Luke 4:42 John 8:1
Matthew 14:22-23 Mark 6:30-32 Luke 5:15-16 John 12:1-2
Matthew 17:1-2 Mark 6:45-47 Luke 5:29-32 John 13:1-10
Matthew 19:13-15 Mark 9:2-8 Luke 6:12 John 14:1-4
Matthew 21:17 Mark 14:22-26 Luke 9:10 John 20:19-23
Matthew 26:26-30 Mark 14:33-35 Luke 9:18-21 John 21:10-13
Matthew 28:16-20 Mark 16:14-15 Luke 9:28-29
Mark 16:19 Luke 10:23-24