Today’s Journey Through Scripture Reading:
Judges 4-6; Luke 4:31-44
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,
Copyright 2018, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved