Jesus replied, “Let us go somewhere else—to the nearby villages—so I can preach there also. That is why I have come.” So he traveled throughout Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and driving out demons.
We all like things to be settled. Or at least we say we like things settled. We want life to be predictable. We want a smooth daily existence. We develop and build habits over time. And once built, we want them to stay the same forever and ever, Amen.
We feel most comfortable when life moves along at a certain rate and pace, moving from one thing to another without a lot of bumps in the road. We don’t want things to change too fast, or too slow.
We want to achieve success and then stay on top. We crave success, we’ll even work hard for it. And once we’ve got it, we want to maintain it. We want to stay popular, prosperous, and prominent.
This is where we find Jesus. He’s found fame and popularity. His teaching has been received with applause and acclaim. His meetings have grown in popularity to the point that there is standing-room-only. Tickets to his events are sold out.
But Jesus has a different plan. He looks at his life not just to become a well-known neighborhood preacher, to build a local faithful following where he’s recognized when he walks down the street or goes shopping at the local grocery store.
No, Jesus has a different, higher purpose for his life. He has a goal for how he uses his time, talents, and energies. He doesn’t want to use the most precious thing that he has, his life, without letting it blossom and flourish so he can fulfill his purpose in life.
He wants to do the unusual and unexpected. He wants to reach other villages and towns with who he is and his message for them.
That is why I have come.
Jesus has a crystal-clear view of why he was here on planet earth. He wasn’t living to just stay in the same place, doing the same thing, meeting with the same people, preaching at the same synagogue. God’s purpose for him wasn’t to keep seeing the same faces day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year.
Jesus’ message and command to his disciples is that they should get up, get off their butts, get out of the comfortable place they were in and to get going. But his words are even more unsettling, Jesus says that they should be going, and then to keep on going. Jesus is not just saying to find a single new place, but to go from place, to place, to place.
Jesus is not painting an easy, comfortable road ahead. The future will be filled with continual movement, feelings of being unsettled. He was emphasizing the length of time they would be moving around. But more than just time, it was going to be hard, difficult, arduous.
Jesus describes the life of his followers as being on a mission. They are not to feel comfortable in this world because they were made for eternity. As a matter of fact, we all were made for eternity.
Looking for a reason,
Roaming through the night to find my place in this world
Not a lot to lean on,
I need your light to help me find my place in this world
Everyone wants meaning and purpose in their lives. They are desperate for it. And why? Because there is this deep hole in our soul to fill, to be the kind of person we were meant to be, to be the person that God made us to be.
Yes, Jesus was willing to leave the place he knew and felt comfortable. He left Capernaum. But that wasn’t his biggest leaving. Not by a long shot.
Jesus was willing to leave the most comfortable place in the universe, the throne of heaven. Not only was it the most magnificent place in the universe, he was glorified and worshiped there.
And why did he purposefully leave? To come for people like you and me. He was willing to give up everything, even to die on a cross, for the likes of you and me. He gave all that up in order to reclaim and restore us back to himself. To refurbish and resurrect us back to the people he made us to be; people that enjoyed a glorious, transparent, completely intimate relationship with the God of the universe.
To be settled where we were made to be.