They Didn’t Want Him to Leave

Today’s Journey Through Scripture Reading:
Judges 4-6; Luke 4:31-44

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40 When the sun was setting, everyone brought to Jesus relatives and acquaintances with all kinds of diseases. Placing his hands on each of them, he healed them. 41 Demons also came out of many people. They screamed, “You are God’s Son.” But he spoke harshly to them and wouldn’t allow them to speak because they recognized that he was the Christ. 42 When daybreak arrived, Jesus went to a deserted place. The crowds were looking for him. When they found him, they tried to keep him from leaving them. 43 But he said to them, “I must preach the good news of God’s kingdom in other cities too, for this is why I was sent.” 44 So he continued preaching in the Judean synagogues. (Luke 4:40-44, Common English Bible).

The blind could see. The deaf could hear. Those who had not had use of their legs could walk. Those with fever, like Peter’s mother-in-law, had their illness leave. And then there is the guy who had an evil spirit living inside him. And then, the spirit was gone.

It may have been early in Jesus’ ministry but things were happening and people were reacting. They kept coming. They kept bringing their friends and family who were sick or had other problems so Jesus might attend to them.

If you think about it, for any of us, under similar circumstances, it would be pretty overwhelming. Jesus came into this ministry from the little town of Nazareth. He probably spent just about his entire day, working alone, in the carpenter’s shop. He was working the family business to keep his mother and family afloat until the time came for one of his brothers to step into the shop and take over.

When the day finally came, Jesus left Nazareth and started his three-year ministry. He was baptized by John the Baptist. He spent 40 days in the desert being tempted by the devil. Though Luke doesn’t say how at least not to this point, Jesus has already gotten to know Simon Peter at least a bit because he goes to the home of Simon’s mother-in-law and heals her of a fever. All of that has happened in a period probably not longer than about three months. Talk about a whirlwind.

But, as quickly as these things may have happened, news of what Jesus was able to do spread even faster. People were coming to find him and when they did, he was almost swallowed by the crowd. For a man who had lived his life in small-town Israel, it may have felt stifling, even overwhelming. Jesus did not seem to have a time or a place to even pray.

So, he seems to escape to a private, secluded place. It was a quiet place. It was a secluded place. It was a place where he could pray. It was a place where he could think. It was a place where he could leave the crowds behind. That is, until…

That is until the crowds found him and the rat-race (he probably wouldn’t have called it that), started over again. Luke tells us the crowds didn’t want Jesus to leave. Jesus’ reply? “I must preach the good news of God’s kingdom in other cities too, for this is why I was sent.”

And then he moved on, preaching in the Judean synagogues as he went.

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

With Joy and Thankfulness,
Keith

Copyright 2018, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved

Author:

Spirita Spiro (Esperanza for "Spirit's Breath) is rather new in my life. But the blog is not. I began writing a blog several years ago. It lived under the title, "The Pastor Ponders." Over the years I have tried several different names and "The Pastor Ponders" always seemed to fit best. I am trying again with Spirita Spiro. For 27 years I was a full-time pastor in the United Methodist Church. This year, August 2018, I semi-retired (I can't actually retire quite yet) and began teaching social studies. It is something I have always wanted to do and if I was going to do this, I needed to make it sooner rather than later. So, I made the move. I thought with the career change there also needed to be a name change to the blog and other things, such as spiritual direction. Spirita Spiro is my attempt to share some of my thoughts. I often share what I am thinking with my dog "Bishop," but he keeps his thoughts to himself. He will even go to sleep sometimes while I am sharing my thoughts with him. The truth is, if it doesn't involve getting his ears scratched, his belly rubbed or some kind of treat, he really doesn't care. I will say this for him, he never argues with me or tells me I am wrong. So, I decided to share some of my thoughts with whoever might come across this blog in their ramblings around the Internet. I live with my wife Cindy and our little dog in Lufkin, Texas. I spent the past 27 years as a full-time United Methodist pastor. Most recently I served as pastor of First United Methodist Church in Sweeny, Texas. I have also served United Methodist congregations throughout East Texas including rural Madison County (Elwood UMC), Lovelady (First UMC) and Kennard (Center Hill UMC), Canton (First UMC), rural Smith County (Mt. Sylvan UMC and Union Chapel UMC), Grapeland (First UMC), Tyler (Pleasant Retreat UMC), Santa Fe (Aldersgate UMC), Freeport (First UMC) and Oyster Creek (Oyster Creek UMC), Diboll (First UMC), and now Sweeny (First UMC). My wife Cindy and I have been married for over 40 years. We have two grown sons. Wayne and his wife Nikki and all our grandsons (Kaleb, Noah, and Jaxon) live in Southern California. Christopher and his wife Morgan and both our granddaughters (Jenna and Natalie) live in Tyler Texas. I enjoy preaching and all aspects of preaching from research to writing to the actual preaching event. I also love writing, reading, playing the guitar as well as a bit of drawing. I have spent quite a bit of time over the past two years working with paracord on various projects, mostly prayer ropes I usually give away. I sing bass with a local barbershop chorus called The Coastalaires. I have also recently begun doing a little wood carving. I also enjoy playing with Bishop, something he likes a great deal better than listening to my thoughts. I hold an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Business Data Processing, specializing in Microcomputers from San Jacinto College in Pasadena, Texas, a Bachelor of Science in Political Science with a minor in History from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX, a Master of Divinity from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX and a Doctor of Ministry from Carolina University of Theology. When I was a student at Carolina, the school was in Iron Station North Carolina. They have since relocated to Manassas Virginia (Yeah, go figure, a school named Carolina geographically in Virginia). This blog is mostly devotional writing, but there are other things here too. Just about every week I will either post my sermon manuscript or a video of the worship service. On occasion, I will post something I see in society. Occasionally I write a short story, a poem, or a song and will post it here too. I will say this, my motivations for writing this blog are really selfish. I write it to get what I am thinking out of my head and onto something a bit more permanent. They say, after all, once something is on the internet it never really goes away. Still, I hope you enjoy reading it. And, should you desire, you can one-up Bishop and actually tell me what you think. Who knows, it might generate a bit of discussion between you and me and anyone else who might make their way here. With Joy and Thankfulness, Keith Sweeny, Texas May 2018

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