So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place. But many who saw them leaving recognized them and ran on foot from all the towns and got there ahead of them.
Our Hero Helps Us in Desperation
Ernest Hemingway once wrote, “As you get older, it’s hard to have heroes. But it is sort of necessary.”
When you’re young, having heroes is easy. Your imagination is big, and your cynicism is little. There are so many people who seem stronger and smarter than you. But as the years pass and you get older, you realize that that idealized image you had in your head wasn’t all that real. So many people seemed strong because you hadn’t yet been made aware of their weaknesses. So many people seemed smart because you hadn’t yet seen the foolish mistakes they make. As you get older, more and more heroes fall by the wayside, exposed by time as vulnerable at best and outright villains at worst.
But at the same time, having heroes is somewhat necessary as you get older. Because even as you realize the frailty and vulnerability of others, the passing years also bring you to the realization of how frail and vulnerable you are. You realize that you can’t do it all. You realize that in some situations, you can’t do anything at all. The more we become aware of our weaknesses, the more we become aware of how desperately we need a hero.
The people following Jesus were desperate for a hero. They wanted what Jesus had to offer, even if it meant hoofing it for miles to catch up to him.
People today are still looking to Jesus as their hero. They realize that Jesus offers them something they can find nowhere else. Perfect and unconditional love. Forgiveness. A clean conscience and the promise of eternal life.
Other heroes may fall by the wayside, but Jesus never will. He is a hero worth following.
O Lord Jesus, as I get older, I realize all the more how much I need you. Turn your heart to me, recognize my desperation and save me in my distress. Be my hero. Amen.