“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' public ministry got off to a flying start. Having healed Peter's mother-in-law, the crowds of Capernaum flock to him with their sick friends and family. Early the next day, Jesus' quiet time is interrupted by news that yet more are pressing in to see him. That is when he announces that he is moving on. Imagine the disappointment!
But Jesus didn't play to the crowd. He had a job to do, a mission to compete, a destiny to fulfil. I wonder how many of us would have had the character to resist some easy adulation? He was on a roll, why not enjoy it or, at least, milk the opportunity to put a smile on a lot of needy faces?
It is said that if we are serious about pursuing "the best", we have to be prepared to say no to "the merely good". It boils down to a simple question: whose agenda will govern our lives? The world's, our family's, our own?... Or God's? It's not easy to discern the answer in every situation. It's often even harder to work through that answer, even when it is obvious. But it's essential if we are to follow Jesus and be the people God created us to become and to complete the task (race) set before us...
Jesus had a grasp on his mission and purpose and he possessed the inner resources to accomplish them because of his habit of regular communion with the Father in prayer. It cleared his vision and gave him strength beyond his human capacity. And that is what awaits us too. As Psalm 37.5 confirms:
"Commit your way to the LORD; trust in Him, and He will do it."