The people wanted Jesus to stay. They were amazed at his teaching, and their diseases were being healed. They probably would have made him king. People from all over, from many nations, were flocking to Jesus. His reputation was spreading like wildfire. (Mark 1, Luke 4, Matthew 4)
So why didn’t Jesus stay? Why didn’t he set up shop right there in Capernaum, preach what he wanted to preach, heal everyone who came to him? It sure would have been easier than the course he chose: the dusty roads, the danger, hot, sandy deserts, and rough seas.
What is God saying to us today through Jesus’ example? Maybe he’s calling you to go to a foreign country to share the Good News of Jesus Christ. Maybe he’s nudging you to walk across the street and share him with your neighbor. I’m pretty sure he’s not calling you to sit in your recliner and wait for someone to knock on your door.
I think it’s also a message for our churches. Maybe we are wrong to focus our energy on making our churches attractive to sinners when God, by example, personally went to where the sinners were. Jesus went out and spoke to Samaritan women, lepers, and tax collectors. He didn’t wait for them to come to him, or orchestrate a rocking worship service to attract non-believers. There were no shortcuts in the course Jesus took.
So, dear one, are you going to stay where you are? Or are you going to get out there and befriend someone who needs the Savior, rub shoulders with sinners, reveal Jesus through your life choices and the words you speak?
Dear Jesus, thank you for your example to us today. May you find us who know you as our Savior walking where you walked, sharing the Gospel with neighbors and friends. May we never be satisfied with sitting on the sidelines, watching others do your will. May each of us obey your call, whether across the ocean or across the street, to lead a soul to their Savior. And thank you for promising to walk with us on our journey.