Friday, November 29, 2013

The Crowd (Luke 4:42)

When day came, Jesus left and went to a secluded place; and the crowds were searching for Him, and came to Him and tried to keep Him from going away from them. (Luke 4:42 NASB)

The crowds

The crowd had seen one miracle of healing after another, and did not want it to end. They were so determined to keep Jesus for themselves that they hunted Him down in the secluded place, and tried to prevent Him from leaving them. On first glance, one might think the crowds were doing a good thing in trying to keep Jesus near. After all, we are supposed to stay close to Christ, aren't we? 

The problem was not that they wanted Jesus to stay, the problem was motivation. Why did they want Him to stay? Scripture doesn't tell us exactly why they wanted Him to stay, but what they had seen was one act of healing after another, beginning in the synagogue and continuing long into the night. We can assume they wanted more of the same. Jesus had taught in the synagogue as well, but they did not gather outside Simon's mother in law's house at sunset for more teaching. They weren't after the Words of Life, nor about repentance. Most likely, they wanted more miraculous healings. They wanted what Jesus could do for them in tangible ways to relive their suffering. There is no indication that they were seeking a repentant, forgiven heart, nor that they were seeking a deeper relationship with God. 

What about us? What do we want from
 Jesus? Physical healing? Relief from suffering? Change in circumstances? Are we content to simply remain in our current circumstances in order to love Christ more and know Him better?

Today, do not pray for a change in circumstances for yourself or your loved ones. Pray instead for a change of heart in your circumstances, that current difficulties would not be wasted.