Mark 1:40–45 ‘As a result, Jesus could no longer enter a town openly but stayed outside in lonely places. Yet the people still came to him from everywhere.’ (v45b)
The stereotypical view of Jesus is of a man who showed up for occasional talks in the open air and had down time with His disciples between events.
Doubtless this pattern did prevail. But this verse in Mark and parallel verses in the other Gospels paint a more complicated picture.
Very early on, Jesus was lauded as a miracle worker and preacher and so couldn’t move around easily.
He certainly went to lonely places to be with His Father, but also to get away from crowds. Alongside this, as early as John 7:1 Jesus’ visits to Jerusalem had to be carefully managed because the authorities were looking to kill Him, some years before His eventual crucifixion.
If life is busy or awkward or not straightforward, you can be sure that your great high priest sympathises with you, not just as all-knowing one but as one ‘who has been tempted in every way, just as we are – yet he did not sin’ (Heb. 4:15b).
Jesus was in ‘lonely places’, maybe He experienced loneliness. Certainly, He knew the frustration of people not doing what He asked (any parents reading this? Or spouses?!).
We may have that a little voice inside us saying, ‘When I get this sorted…’ But the truth is there will always be something that will seek to prevent us from getting on with our mission.
You will know that Jesus doesn’t let a healed man with a motor mouth deflect Him, and He will lead you too to maximise your opportunities as He leads you today.
A Prayer To Make:
Thank You Lord that You understand the tensions that I live under today. Give me grace to navigate a smooth path. Amen.
An Action To Take:
Tell God about your struggles and share with a good friend. Are there solutions that might bring change?
Scripture To Consider:
Ps. 25:16–22; Isa. 53:1–6; John 7:1–10; Heb. 4:14–16