Simon and his companions went to look for him, and when they found him, they exclaimed: “Everyone is looking for you!”
- Mark 1:36-37
On the day before the passage we’re looking at today, Jesus had worked a great miracle: he had healed Simon’s mother-in-law. Simon’s mother-in-law felt so much better so quickly that she started feeding everyone and hosting the gathering. What a blessing for the family!
Simon’s enthusiasm to connect Jesus with “everyone” might not have been an invitation to more work and ministry. At first glance, it’s easy for us to imagine the line queuing outside of Simon’s house waiting for Jesus to show up and start healing people. But it’s entirely possible that Simon and his companions wanted Jesus to join them as the guest of honor for a celebration.
Family after family would have been touched and deeply impacted by Jesus’ healing ministry. When Jesus healed a person he also lightened the load for the rest of the family: the load of their worry for their loved one, the load of their fear that the person they care for is getting worse, the load of physical energy it takes to nurse a sick relative.
If you’ve ever been in that seat – the seat of the relative with a chronically or severely ill loved one – you can imagine the joy you’d feel if that person received a miraculous healing. Even if you’ve never had that experience, I bet your imagination is up to the task!
Jesus’ decision to move on to other towns and villages to preach (which we’ll look at in more depth tomorrow) meant that he wouldn’t be able to stick around to enjoy the honor and gratitude of all of the people he had directly and indirectly helped.
How hard would it have been for you to miss out on the honor and gratitude? Some of us burn through honor and gratitude like gasoline to fuel our efforts to engage our world for good. Others of us shy away from the spotlight in unhealthy ways.
For Jesus, his connection with his Heavenly Father and his clear sense of purpose prompted him and liberated him to keep moving. Is there an area in your life where you’re lingering in order to receive more and more honor and gratitude? Where in your life do you need to get moving again? What do you think you would need in order to feel the freedom to bypass honor and gratitude as fuel for good works?