“I’ve come to preach–let’s move on!
Scripture reading for February 16th: Mark 1:29-2:12, Psalms 35:17-28, Proverbs 9:13-18
“That evening after sunset the people brought to Jesus all the sick and demon-possessed. The whole town gathered at the door, and Jesus healed many who had various diseases. He also drove out many demons, but He would not let the demons speak because they knew who He was.” (Mark 1:32-34) Jesus proclaimed the kingdom of God with power. The proof of this was miracles and deliverance. Jesus worked well after dark healing and delivering many in Capernaum. The whole town gathered at Peter’s mother-in-law’s house to receive healing. Crowds came to get in on what Jesus was saying and doing!
“Very early the next morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where He prayed. Simon and his companions went to look for Him, and when they found Him, they proclaimed: “Everyone is looking for You!” (Mark 1:35-37) The secret to Jesus’ power and authority was in prayer. Jesus took time to pray alone, seeking the Father’s will and then doing it. It would have been easy to get caught up in the crowd’s interest and adulation, but Jesus wanted to please His Father first and last!
It would have seemed the perfect opportunity to do more ministry since everyone in Capernaum was looking for Him. This was an evangelist’s dream: A large crowd of hungry people! “Jesus replied, “Let us go somewhere else–to the nearby villages–so I can preach there also. That is why I have come.” (Mark 1:38) Jesus did not let the crowd influence Him from doing what He came to do. He was under orders and moved because of some hidden agenda. He had business to attend to elsewhere. The crowd there had seen enough and there were many others who had not had an opportunity to experience the kingdom of God near to them. Many others were still in bondage to the kingdom of darkness!
The lesson for us today is our need to stay in focus on our mission and the means to do that. We must spend time alone with God in prayer! God has personal instructions for each of us. The crowd isn’t always right and what we did yesterday in that place isn’t necessarily what we should do today. God is looking for you and me today, in the secret place!