Separating for prayer

Mark 6:46 (AV)
And when he¹ had sent² them³ away,
he departed into⁴ a mountain to pray⁵.‭

¹) Jesus
²) The Greek word: ἀποτάσσομαι‭ (apotassomai) has the meaning of separating oneself, withdrawing oneself from anyone‭, or to bid farewell to‭ (see below).
³) His disciples.
⁴) Can also (and maybe better) be translated with: unto, to, or towards.
⁵) To offer prayers.

Other translations:

And after He had taken leave of them, He went off into the hills to pray. [AMP]

And after he had taken leave of them, he went up on the mountain to pray. [ESV]

And when he had sent them away, he departed into a mountain to pray. [KJV]

After leaving them, he went up on a mountainside to pray. [NIV]

Afterward he went up into the hills by himself to pray. [NLT]

And when He had sent them away, He departed to the mountain to pray. [NKJV]

Some further information:

After the wonderful event of the miraculous feeding, the Lord Jesus again sought silence. Mark tells here that He did this ‘after having said goodbye to them’.

Apparently, this farewell refers to the crowd He would send away (see Mark 6:45). But the Greek word ἀποτάσσομαι‭ (apotassomai) which is used here gives a different impression, for the verb apotassomai which means a friendly and personal farewell, does not fit so well with ‘sending a crowd of people away’.

We should probably imagine the course of events as follows.
After Jesus had sent the people away to the surrounding farms and villages (Mark 6:36), He had followed His disciples by land.
Across the bay He took a quiet goodbye to them (autois). He also charged them, if He had not yet returned from the isolation, to go by ship to Capernaum (see John 6:17).

He departed into a mountain to pray.‭
This was a habit with Him when He could get away from the crowd (Matthew 14:23; Mark 1:35, 6:46; Luke 6:12, 9:28, 11:1)

He departed into a mountain
By departing into a mountain He at last got that privacy and rest which He had vainly sought during the earlier part of the day.

It was also a place from where He could watch the disciples on the lake, pray for them in their extremity, and observe the right time for coming to them, in a new manifestation of His glory, on the sea.

After saying goodbye to His disciples, Jesus went up to the mountain to pray (cf. Mark 1:35, also at night). He withdrew to that high place to enter into conversation with God (cf. Mark 14:35).

To pray
It gave Him also the opportunity to pour out His soul in connection with the extraordinary excitement in His favor that day, which appears to have marked the zenith of His reputation, for it began to decline the very next day.

Observe that He prayed, though he had so much preaching-work upon His hands, yet He was much in prayer. He prayed often, and prayed long, which is an encouragement to us to depend upon the intercession He is making for us at the right hand of the Father, that continual intercession.

Observe that He went alone, to pray; though He needed not to retire for the avoiding distraction, yet, to set us an example, and to encourage us in our secret addresses to God, He prayed alone, and, for want of a closet, went up into a mountain, to pray.
A good man is never less alone than when alone with God.

Now let us reflect on this

I have a question for you and our children:
▪︎ Do you still sometimes pray for yourself in a quiet and secluded place?
▪︎ Do you still have your quiet times? Times when you are quiet before God and personally lay down all your worries, needs, but also your joy before Him?

Daniel knew those times in his life.
And we also frequently read of the Lord Jesus that He separated Himself to speak with His Father. He had an intensive prayer life.

And we?
Luther once said of prayer that it is the breath of the soul.

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Twitter: @SchoemakerHarry

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