Did Jesus experience burnout in Mark 3-4 (esp. 3:21,31,4:36 "just as he was"), in your opinion?

Yes, he probably burned out, which is why he slept so deeply.
0% (0 votes)
Almost; he was probably on the verge.
11% (1 vote)
No, he was probably just very tired.
67% (6 votes)
No, not even close.
11% (1 vote)
11% (1 vote)
Total votes: 9
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Ed Vasicek's picture

As I was preaching through this section of Mark, I noted how Jesus' family came to take custody of him because they thought he was out of his mind.  He was so swamped with ministry with people wanting to touch him, hear him, be healed by him, and receive his counsel that he would not stop working.  The disciples practically dragged him into the boat ("just as he was," a very interesting expression), and he slept so soundly even the storm did not wake him.


Jonah, in Jonah 1, had expended so much effort to escape from God that when the boarded the ship to Tarshish and a massive storm arose, he, too, was unaffected because of severe exhaustion (Jonah 1:5-6).


Most of us recognize that fatigue and burnout are two different things. Still, Jesus has to escape the crowds by going to sea, and even then boats follow him. IMO, he was on the verge of burnout (the second choice).


What are your  (1) thoughts on this passage, and what are your (2) thoughts about burnout?  I know I have had times when I am so wound and feel so guilty because of overwhelming responsibilities I cannot adequately address or conflict (which is the worst).  Please share your thoughts on one or both of these tracks.

"The Midrash Detective"

DavidO's picture

I think I'd need a technical definition of "burnout" before I can answer this. 

Ed Vasicek's picture

How about this one from helpguide.org:

Burnout is a state of emotional, mental, and physical exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress. It occurs when you feel overwhelmed and unable to meet constant demands.

"The Midrash Detective"

TylerR's picture


I'm naturally reluctant to admit Christ was "burned out," but we do have to remember He was fully mortal as well as fully divine. We sometimes tend to emphasize the divine aspects of Christ at the expense of the mortal. I suppose I'm happy with "extremely exhausted" and am reluctant to push it too far. He did have a very long day! 

I am very familiar with burnout. I reached a crisis point of sorts a few weeks back. I literally couldn't handle my responsibilities anymore, and went kind of insane for a week or so with the pressure. I promise I'm better now that I re-prioritized things and got rid of some responsibilities I shouldn't have taken on! 

Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and an Investigations Manager with a Washington State agency. He's the author of the book What's It Mean to Be a Baptist?