“…that I may preach there also, for that is why I came out.”
Jesus missed the opportunity of a life time! It was right there in his hands and he just let it slip away. How could he have missed it? It was so simple. Everything was so ripe and he missed it. How could Jesus have lost such a great opportunity? You and I would never pass up something like this, but he let it slip right through his hands. Why didn’t he see it? Take a look at this passage in your Bible and ask yourself if you would have allowed such a golden opportunity to pass you by, had you been in his shoes.
We see here that Jesus has become pretty popular with the masses. Talk about the Midas touch! Everyone and everything he touched seemed to turn to a miracle. People were coming from everywhere just to be near this small town boy turned holy rock star. He was the golden child for sure. His mama must have been proud. He was drawing crowds everywhere he went with his powerful messages and amazing supernatural feats of power. In today’s part of the story Jesus gets up early and prays. While he’s praying, his disciples are searching for him. When they find him Simon Peter, his marketing advisor, says to Jesus, “Everyone is looking for you!” In a sense he was saying, “Hey master, this is your moment, no time to wander off and pray, you’ve got things to do, people to see, places to go. People are looking for you. You have rocked this town and they all want you to extend the show for another week.” Peter may have been trying to get Jesus to see the opportunity that was before Him. Just think, with all this popularity Jesus could have started a cool ministry, based in Galilee. He could have stayed in that town and established himself as the greatest teacher/healer/ motivational speaker of all time. He could have started a church with a building that would put the temple in Jerusalem to shame. There was such support for him locally that if he had stayed right there he could have become a legend in the religious world, and who knows maybe even gotten into politics. But Jesus missed it. He looked right past the opportunity to establish his career, and said to Peter, very plainly: “Let us go on to the next towns, that I may preach there also, for that is why I came out.” You know, I think what messed him up was that early morning prayer time he had just finished. In that early prayer time he may have been reminded why he came out into the world in the first place. He saw past the golden glitter of human popularity into the heart of his purpose in life. It kept him from letting “opportunities” divert him from his mission. He missed opportunities to dine at the table of worldly applause because he knew why he had come out. He came out to preach teach and heal, and ultimately to die for you and me. I wonder how many times our Lord was confronted with “opportunities” to promote himself, or to take a short cut to glory. How many times did Jesus hear the enemy of his soul whisper to him, “Hey Jesus, you could have anything you want from this crowd; money, sex, power, you name it. You could have it all.” How many times did Jesus have to look beyond the moment and remember, “That would be easy, but that isn’t why I came out.”
We live in a world that makes heroes out of those who “come out of the closet” in celebration of self. But Jesus came out of the throne room of eternity to sacrifice himself for a blind and self-absorbed race. He took on human form and came out of the virgins womb to give new birth to all who would believe. You know it helps all of us to take a hard look at our lives and ask ourselves, “Why did you come out?” Before you were born you were a dream in the heart of God. He had a purpose for you, to know him and to glorify him. That is why you “came out” into this world. You were not created to worship yourself, promote your own empire, and create your own destiny. Your life, regardless of what you believe, is bound up in the purpose of God. If you are saved, you “came out” of your old life of sin, not simply to go to heaven some day, but to follow your savior who came out to save you. As a Christian you have come out to save others. Are you remembering that today? Whatever decisions you will be faced with, whatever choices are set before you, just settle them by asking this question, “Is this why I came out?”