“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.”
Jesus desert temptations were over, but He was still faced with the temptations that would arise during His life and ministry. Mark describes three instances where Jesus withdrew to a solitary place and prayed. Each one was related to one of the challenges He had faced in the desert.
Here Jesus had been teaching in the synagogue and had driven out an evil spirit. This had ‘amazed’ all the people. He had then healed Simon Peter’s mother-in-law of a fever. Later ‘the people brought to Jesus all the sick and demon-possessed.’ The whole town gathered at the door of the house where Jesus healed and drove out demons.
It was the morning after this ministry that had attracted so many people, that Jesus went off early to pray. And when Simon and his companions came searching for Him with the news ‘Everyone is looking for you’ He was prepared and ready to say to them. ‘Let’s go somewhere else .. so that I can preach there also. That is why I have come.’
Jesus realised the dangers of staying and becoming the local wonder-worker. Like jumping off the pinnacle of the temple to the astonishment of the crowds below it would cause amazement. However it would not necessarily draw people into the Kingdom through repentance and salvation. He had a different message for a wider audience and He had to keep moving on. Throughout His ministry He was followed by people looking for more wonderful acts but without becoming disciples.
Do I seek the voice of the world or the voice of God? Keep praying.
Lord please help me to focus on You and not on the voice or acclaim of the world. Amen.