Jesus had a rather hectic schedule for His time. We get a glimpse of this in the Gospel of Matthew when He receives the news of His cousin’s beheading (see Matthew 14:13-36).
As soon as He heard the news, He went off to be alone in the boat, grieving.
When He stepped back onto shore there were over 5 000 people waiting for Him. In the midst of His grief, He was filled with compassion; He set aside His own needs and healed them.
That same evening He went alone to a mountain to pray, probably still filled with grief over John’s sudden death. He prayed through the night till the early hours of the morning.
That same morning, as He and His disciples set foot on the northern shore of Gennesaret, there were multitudes already waiting for Him. At this stage He hadn’t slept much, he had likely not eaten and was still grieving. He clearly needed some rest by now. Yet, again He was filled with compassion; He set aside His own needs and healed the sick.
Jesus never turned down an invitation to dinner or a request for healing and deliverance. Many of these requests came in the midst of His busy schedule, yet He never seemed to lack time for people.
Crowds constantly thronged around Him, yet He never denied them access to Him.
There were times when His disciples tried to play gatekeepers, and Jesus was firmly dismissive of their efforts. In fact, in one instance – when the disciples tried to stop children from running to Him – He was furious (see Mark 10:14).
It’s hard to imagine how such a highly sought after man was able to make Himself equally accessible to the greatest and the least, to the friend and the foe. Jesus was simply the best embodiment of the Spirit of Ubuntu.
The more I learn about Mam Madikizela-Mandela, the more I see this same spirit was in her! She set aside her needs in favor of those in need. She gave up her life fighting for my freedom. May God remember her suffering and sacrifice.