Stay Focused

Jesus was beginning to get some notoriety. He had healed Peter’s mother-in-law there in Capernaum and when word of what had happened got out, the news began to spread. The people of the town and around the area lining up at the door of the house where he was staying and now it was on. Jesus’s fame was beginning to spread and he could start to build his ministry.

But after having healed all of those people and going to bed for the night, Jesus gets up early in the morning and goes away to pray. He needs to hear from the Father. He needs to talk about what he has seen and determine the next steps. The ministry could really begin to grow here in Capernaum. What should he do?

In the meantime, the disciples come looking for him. The people had been looking for Jesus, so they came to fetch him. After some time, they do finally find him, but what does Jesus tell them that he will do? He says exactly the opposite of what they are expecting: It is time to leave.

Very early in the 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 exclaimed: “Everyone is looking for you!”

Jesus replied, “Let us go somewhere else—to the nearby villages—so I can preach there also. That is why I have come.” So he traveled throughout Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and driving out demons.

Mark 1:35-39

The disciples had better get used to this. Jesus will rarely do what they think that he should do. He has work to do that they don’t really understand. He has priorities that they most certainly don’t understand. The disciples are in for a wild ride, one that will be quite confusing for them.

It is clear that God’s priorities are different than man’s priorities. Jesus is God and he is thinking differently than all of the men around him. They are thinking that they need to set up their ministry, open their shop, make a name for themselves with this teacher that not only speaks with authority, but heals people with a word of the touch of his hand. Jackpot!

But Jesus’s priority is that all will hear. He doesn’t care about crowds of people. He cares about all people. Capernaum is not enough. Others must hear as well. One city seems like enough to the disciples, but for Jesus, it isn’t enough until the news of the kingdom of God goes everywhere.

We also have the same tendencies and temptations as the disciples. We have been given a mandate, a plan. The scriptures tell us that Jesus has called us to make disciples, and we see churches planted. We don’t need anything else. We need to be faithful with what we have been given and do what we have been asked to do. With the little that we have, God will do the rest, so let’s stay focused on the task that he has given to us.

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