And when it was day, he departed and went into a desolate place. And the people sought him and came to him, and would have kept him from leaving them, but he said to them, “I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns as well; for I was sent for this purpose.” And he was preaching in the synagogues of Judea. Luke 4:42-44
Jesus may have made some people mad but He also had others willing to follow Him into the wilderness or as Luke puts it a desolate place. The crowd wanted to do more than just hear more of Jesus’ teaching; they wanted to keep Him from leaving. They wanted Jesus all to their selves.
We can be that way in our church, our small group or close circle of friends. We get comfortable and want to keep the group the same. Maybe we think a new person will disrupt the group so we keep our distance. If we ignore them long enough maybe they will go away and things can get back to the way they were. In essence we want to keep our Jesus to ourselves.
Jesus did not come for a small select group, He came for everyone. Yes, Jesus spent most of His ministry with the Jews. This was to fulfill God’s promise to send the Messiah to His chosen people. But Jesus never turned away anyone. Jesus embraced Samaritans, Romans and even a thief on a cross. John tells us He came for the entire world and in today’s verses Jesus told the people of Capernaum that He “must preach the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns as well; for I was sent for this purpose.”
No matter how much good we do in our own little group that is not our purpose. Just like Jesus our purpose is to preach the good news of the kingdom of God to all others. Jesus commanded us to go into the whole world spreading the Good News and baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. That means we need to leave our comfort zone. It means we need to welcome the newcomer into our church and make them feel welcome. You and I must preach the good news. That is our purpose.
Have a blessed day,