That evening at sundown they brought to him all who were sick or oppressed by demons. And the whole city was gathered together at the door . . . And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed. And Simon and those who were with him searched for him, and they found him and said to him, “Everyone is looking for you.” And he said to them, “Let us go on to the next towns, that I may preach there also, for that is why I came out.”
None of us are the Messiah. None of us is doing more important work than saving the whole world. None of us have experienced a ‘whole city’ gathering at our door clamoring for us. And if we did it wouldn’t do our humility much good! Yet, many of us enjoy that feeling of being busy, of being needed, of everybody wanting a piece of us, or our time.
Of course at times business is overwhelming. All too often we simply give in to the demands others are placing on us.
Jesus response to this situation is remarkable.
- He does the exact opposite of what other people wants him to do. We cannot allow our agendas to be determined solely by the requests and expectations of others.
- He withdraws to a quiet place, away from others demands. Learning the discipline of doing this (which requires in the modern world we turn off our mobile phones) is crucial not just for our spiritual health but for our physical health also.
- He prays and seeks the direction of the One that he truly cared about. We too must live our lives for an audience of One. We must do what He says we must do, not what others demand of us. Jesus left behind massive ministry success to go to other places, not for strategic reasons, but because that was what he sensed his Father wanted him to do.