“And when it was day, he departed and went into a desolate place (see also Mk. 1:35). 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).
I see four principles in these verses that marked the Lord's life and was continued by the apostles.
- Prayer in solitude comes before ministry in public. This in the first step of doing God's work! It was Jesus' relationship with the Father that gave Him the urgency to "preach the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns as well". I find that the more time I spend with the Lord in His Word, the more He fills my heart with passion, desire and commitment to live and speak the gospel of grace and truth. Are you following Jesus example?
- Second, there were those who would have "kept him (Jesus) from leaving them" but the Father's will controlled everything Jesus did and He did not let human agendas hinder His obedience. (See also Mk. 1:36-38). I find this a great challenge to the way I think and the motives of my heart. Paul faced the same resistance in Acts 21:13-14, yet he would not be moved away from God's plan that was given to him. Who or what is hindering you from full obedience?
- Third, Jesus knew the "purpose" behind His being "sent". "Purpose" must come before any endeavor to do God's work. If we try to mingle the purpose of man with the purpose of God we will experience very little or no fruit. Knowing that I am "sent" for God's "purpose" ONLY preserves me from a serious double-minded weakness. Single devotion to Jesus and His Word will result in a hundredfold multiplication (See Mt. 19:27-30; Mk. 10:28-31). How fruitful do you want to be?
- Fourth, Jesus "was preaching in the synagogues of Judea". Faithfully proclaiming the message that God has already given in His Word preserves us from wandering into a "different gospel" which "distorts the gospel of Christ" (Gal. 1:6-7). It will happen in every period of church history; there will be "some who trouble you" or want to "bewitch you" (1:7; 3:1). God has called us to proclaim the pure gospel given by "revelation of Jesus Christ" (1:12). Let our preaching always be "the unsearchable riches of Christ, and to bring to light for everyone what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God" (Eph. 3:8-9).