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
This verse follows right after a telling of how Jesus cast out demons, healed Peter’s mother-in-law and healed people. All that took place the day before. The next day, the disciples all go out looking for him and tell him that all these people are looking for him.
I have this scene in my head of Jesus looking up from his prayer time, still on his knees, staring into the faces of his disciples, all of them giddy with glee at the fact that they are part of this awesome gathering of people and are witnessing a powerful move of God, and when people come looking for Jesus to do more, they eagerly run out and start to look for him so he can do more of what he did yesterday. Do the miraculous.
How often do we go to Jesus looking for a dog and pony show. Heal me, do the miraculous, perform a trick for us, like a bunch of children watching a magician?
I love the response he gives. “Let’s go somewhere else.” Could you imagine the look on the disciples faces. From stunned to shocked to silent. Their thoughts probably the same as ours in that situation. “What do you mean somewhere else, do you see all the people here?”, to “But they came to see you, why not do a few things, and make sure that we can keep the numbers.”
Jesus’ response. “I came to preach, not show off. I want change lives, from the inside. I want people to know my Father in heaven. That’s why I came. Not to do magic tricks.” Now, I am not saying that all he did was magic tricks. I am saying, how often do we get caught up in the miracles of God, and not the work of God.
Spreading the gospel.