And he withdrew himself into the wilderness, and prayed.
I. UPON WHAT PRINCIPLES ARE WE TO ACCOUNT FOR OUR LORD'S FREQUENT RETIREMENT FOR SOLITUDE AND DEVOTION? A man, though in blessed and ineffable union with God. Made in all points like unto His brethren, with the exception of His sinless purity.
1. The Redeemer would be impelled to cultivate solitude and devotion by the fervour of His piety.
2. Solitary communion with God was necessary to preserve His holy mind from the contaminations of the world, incidental to the possession of a material body, and his participation of human nature.
3. In solitude and prayer, the Redeemer was invigorated to pursue and to accomplish His great work.
4. Our Lord, by this habit of retired devotion, afforded an example and an illustration of His own doctrine, and condemned the hypocritical and ostentatious worship of the Jewish elders.
II. WHAT ADVANTAGES MAY WE EXPECT TO DERIVE FROM IMITATING THE EXAMPLE OF THE SAVIOUR IN THIS PARTICULAR INSTANCE. To suppose the disciple in less need of perpetual supplies of grace than his Lord were folly and presumption.
1. Solitude is favourable to that calm, reflecting, and pensive state of the mind which is suitable to the higher duties of religion.
2. In devout seclusion, the realities of religion are brought more closely home to our consciences and our hearts, and we feel more deeply our individual concern in their truth and consequences.
3. A life of faith in opposition to a life regulated by the exclusive interests of the present world, can only be sustained by habits of private devotion.
4. It secures an effectual refuge amidst the sorrows and calamities of life.
Parallel VersesKJV: And he withdrew himself into the wilderness, and prayed.