All the people were amazed and said to each other, “What words these are! … And the news about him spread throughout the surrounding area.
… Yet the news about him spread all the more, so that crowds of people came to hear him and to be healed of their sicknesses. But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.
…But he walked right through the crowd and went on his way.
… At daybreak, Jesus went out to a solitary place.
… After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray.
… One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God.
Jesus is the lastest and greatest. The talk of the town. People are looking for him, reaching to touch him, trying to hold him and keep him from leaving.
… Jesus has gone viral.
Yet, Jesus isn’t looking for his 15 minutes of fame. He isn’t counting “likes” and the number of “hits.” He doesn’t have his hat out hoping for all the ‘good’ things that his fame holds in promise. In fact, Jesus has just come from such a temptation; He has just spent 40 days listening to Satan’s such kind of ploys:
“Hey, Jesus, check it out…Throw yourself off this cliff. Feel the thrill. Watch the angels come flying to protect your holy feet. Make sure this whole God thing is real. C’mon, admit it, ya know you want to Jesus… How cool would doing a little God-thing be right now?”
Yes, Jesus has gone viral, but He knows the score.
But more than that, He knows the Scorekeeper.
So, with truth buckled around His waist, with the breastplate of righteousness firmly in place, with feet fitted sure and ready with the good news of who He is, Jesus extinguishes all the flaming arrows of the evil one – once for all.
And in the midst of the people’s growing roar (both good and bad), Jesus escapes through the crowd. He steals away to a lonely place.
… He climbs a mountainside and finds his strength – His being – in God.
If I say that my life has been redeemed –
then like a coupon for a smart shopper: my life is here for God to collect.
If I say that I am here to please God –
then it’s Jesus whose life I should be studying carefully and following closely each step along the way.
And if He says “In all things I do, follow me.”
Then let the Simcards, and the hashtags lay where they may. Let the commotion and the distractions, the chores and the ‘one more things’ fall away. Let all things come to attention, fall in line, and let me listen and obey the small still voice that marches to this different drummer:
“Come. Follow me. Let me show you a quiet place where you can hear the heart of God. Come. Follow me. Let me share with you my secret place where voices are stilled, and the mobs are silenced. Come. Follow me to the mountain of God, Let me clothe you in the stillness of the night and the calm of the early morn. Let your spirit reset. Recalibrate. Rejuvenate. Let me renew all things wilted and dry and refresh all things weary and worn. Let me restore your youth.
Lord, I will come and see… and I will steal away with you.
Watering Today: Prov 25; PS 25, 125; Ezra 1; Luke 4-7
(“Come and See”… an oldie but goodie)