“Now in the morning, having risen a long while before daylight, He went out and departed to a solitary place; and there He prayed. And Simon and those who were with Him searched for Him. When they found Him, they said to Him, ‘Everyone is looking for You.’ But He said to them, ‘Let us go into the next towns, that I may preach there also, because for this purpose I have come.’ And He was preaching in their synagogues throughout all Galilee, and casting out demons.”
So, I know I already touched on verse 35. But I need to put it here in context of what’s going on – Jesus has a very clear mission, a very strong relationship with the Father that carried Him through that mission without distraction or interruption. This is the result of taking time to spend alone, in prayer, fellowship with the Father. If Jesus takes this time, who is perfect, how much more do we need to spend time alone with our Lord? I can’t stress that enough.
The disciples didn’t have this same ability to see Jesus’ mission, His goal and reason for being here. They don’t understand 1) Jesus solitary time, 2) didn’t see Him yet as the Leader, the Master, who knows best 3) they come to Him in an accusing tone. Have you ever done this? When Jesus seemingly is ‘absent’ in your search for him, you have your own agenda, and you react toward your Lord in this same way, forget He’s your leader and come to Him in a demanding tone. That’s okay, there’s always forgiveness for us when we react to what we don’t understand. But Jesus doesn’t deride them. He knows where they are. He simply says “Let’s go into the other towns.” He briefly explains his purpose – to preach.
Now let’s take a look at ourselves being like Jesus: God has given each one of us a plan, a purpose. When we have that goal, often people will come to us, even meaning well, and try to distract us from what He calls us to do (these are powerful words for me right now, as I’m seeing one of the things God wants me to do begin to unfold, and I need to stay focused!). What if Jesus had listened to these other voices, instead of the direction given Him by God? His mission would have been jeopardized. But Jesus knew the plan. He spent the valuable time with the Father and His judgement could not be clouded. Do you spend valuable time with God so other voices don’t have the chance to come in and speak louder? Do I? Yes, I mentioned that of course Jesus is perfect and of course He did God’s will – and He spent a lot of time talking with God – again, I have to say though, if Jesus (who is perfect) did take that time alone, how much MORE do we need it!
When Jesus answered the disciples, He does so graciously and honestly. He doesn’t call them names (although other times, He does confront them with exactly the characteristics they were demonstrating, like having little faith, get behind me, satan…etc). He just states His purpose: For this reason I have come. And then, verse 39, He does it. “And He was preaching in their synagogues” – Jesus knows His purpose, and He follows through with action, and does it.
Is your purpose clear from God? Do you have definite direction from Him? Whatever He is calling you to right now, be it “Raise your children in the Lord, pursue such and such vision, I want you to become (fill in the blank); there is one mission that we always have: Go and preach the gospel to all men. It was Jesus’ main purpose and it’s also ours. Are you doing this? Do you need to spend more time with God and allow Him to grow you into His calling? Spend more time with Him, and He will make His plan for you clear. Do you know a specific thing God is calling you to do? Don’t get distracted by any other ‘ideas’ for you, Go and do it, like Jesus.