Going with Jesus
Every person can have a better understanding of who Jesus is by noting his actions in this passage.
A phrase that many of us like to use is missing the boat. When a great opportunity has passed us by we might say you missed the boat on that one. I think that one of the funniest stories about that is from the movie “Forrest Gump.”
While he is sitting on that park bench talking to the people who come and go he mentions buying stock in a little fruit company. It was a company called Apple. As a result he was able to get a whole lot of money from his investment in that little fruit company. How many of us have looked back and said, I wish I would have invested in that. Maybe it was a company like Apple. Maybe you wish you could have invested in Yahoo or Google when they started up. I have often thought of the price of gold when I was a much younger. It would have been great to have bought some gold back then when it was a few hundred dollars an ounce. We clearly can’t go back and change the past.
As we look at the disciples this morning, they see a great opportunity coming their way. The tell Jesus what he ought to be doing, but Jesus has a different plan. He goes on to do something else, while the disciples are thinking that Jesus ought to spend more time healing. I would like to take a look at the actions in this passage and learn more about him.
Action I. Jesus went
- Much of what I notice in this passage is of Jesus going. He goes to Simon’s house, he goes to Simon’s mother in law, He goes out to pray, and he goes on to other places. Jesus does a lot of going. I think his going is very intentional. He is not just riding along on some whim. It is a part of Jesus’ master plan. So he went with James and John to the home of Simon and Andrew. While he is there it is revealed to him that Simon’s mother in law is sick. When this news is given to Jesus he goes to the woman. It does not look like anyone is bringing Jesus to this woman, but rather that Jesus is going to her. Clearly Simon would have an interest in his mother in law getting well, so it might have been at his request that Jesus goes. The thing I want you to notice is that Jesus goes to her. It is not her coming to Jesus and it is not someone bringing her to Jesus.
- This is in contrast to what we see happening with the townspeople. In v. 32 it says, “The whole town gathered at the door.” The people seemed to be looking for what they could get. Simon’s mother in law, after she is healed she gets up and starts serving. Jesus went to this place and he serves the people there. That is a big part of what Jesus is all about.
- Jesus went to these different places to serve. He was not there to put on a show. He was there because he was sent to serve. He was also sent to preach. Jesus seemed to have a knack for going to the people and the places where he was needed the most. He is often in the Synagogue because he knows he will have an impact there. So he goes to those places. And as people find out about Jesus he finds that people come to him.
- Are you looking for what Jesus can do for you? He offers you something that none other can. He offers you eternal life and a relationship with God the father. I would challenge you to look at what you can do to serve Jesus. Jesus reminded us, ““"He will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’” (Mt 25:45 NIVUS)
Action II. Jesus healed and drove
- I see a chain reaction developing here. Jesus goes to Simon’s mother in law and he heals her. People find out what Jesus did and they assume that he is able to do the same for others. So they track Jesus down to make the request that Jesus would do something for their friend or loved one. So in vv. 33 & 34 many people are brought to Jesus and he heals their diseases and drives out the demons. This time rather than Jesus going to the people who had needs, people come to Jesus with the things they want cared for. In the case of the mother in law, I believe that was a genuine need. In the people coming to Jesus, I think that people are bringing things they perceive as needs.
- One thing that I notice in this passage is that there is no one who leaves Jesus’ presence without being healed. Everyone seems to receive what they are looking for. We get to see the power of Jesus revealed. The demons are powerless against Jesus. Again we see that Jesus does not allow the demons to speak. This might be because he did not want people to know who he was yet, or it might be that he did not want this kind of testimony coming from a demon. At any rate they are required to do what he wants them to do. So when he orders them out, they must obey. We see the power of Jesus demonstrated in the healings.
Action III. Jesus prayed
- This is a passage that has fascinated me for a long time. At the very end of v. 36 we see that Jesus prayed. That amazing thing is that Jesus is God’s son. He is God in the flesh and he takes time to pray. If there ever was a person in the world who did not need to take time to pray it would have been Jesus. There are some people that seem to really have God’s ear. Whenever they pray it seems that God stops everything so he can listen to what they have to say. I would think that Jesus would have been even greater than that. He was God. It would be kind of like talking to himself.
- One thing that was pointed out to me the other day is the kind of situation that Jesus is in the middle of. Usually when Jesus prays he is faced with some monumental situation. This time the situation is not as obvious, but it is still there. People have been coming to Jesus because of his ability to bring healing. This does not sound like a bad thing, but they are coming to Jesus only because of what he is able to do. He is kind of like the snake oil salesman, or someone who promised miracle results from some kind of a medicine bottle. This was not what Jesus should have been known for. He came as the Messiah, not some kind of a medicine man. It is more important for people to be forgiven of their sins and for them to have a relationship with God, than it is for them to have their bodies healed. Jesus wanted people chasing after him for the right reasons and not for the wrong ones.
- It is really sad to see people chasing after Jesus for wrong reasons. Just like as in Jesus day, people want Jesus to heal them. They might even hold a bit of a grudge if Jesus does not heal them. One man I knew became a Christian, and was baptized, but he got angry when things did not immediately turn around in his life. Jesus was supposed to make things magically get better and when they did not he became bitter.
- Perhaps we should each think of the reasons we are following Jesus. Are you hoping that by following Jesus that he will show you some kind of special favor? Maybe you think that by following Jesus he is going to make you rich. Perhaps we should be thinking of ways that we can better serve Jesus rather than looking for more ways for him to take care of us. He has already given us the greatest gift of all.
Action IV. Jesus preached
- I can imagine the disciples waking up in the morning. They might be talking about what a full day the day before had been. They might be anticipating what kind of day this day is going to be. As they are doing all of this Jesus is nowhere to be found. The later it gets more and more people are arriving at the house. They want a little bit more of what Jesus was dishing out the night before. Finally, they decide they need to find Jesus. He might not know what he is missing out on.
- When they find Jesus they tell him, “Everyone is looking for you.” They are saying to Jesus, the crowds have already started arriving. If you don’t get back to the house soon, you are really going to be behind. I get the impression that these men have little respect at this time for Jesus time alone with God. Rather than doing what everyone thinks Jesus is going to be doing, Jesus says, “Let’s go somewhere else.” Can you feel the disciples’ dismay at this statement? Jesus tells them why he needs to go to other places. He says to them, “I can preach there also. That is why I have come.”
- His statement makes me think that Jesus is telling his followers that healing and deliverance are not the reasons that he came. They might be a benefit of Jesus coming into the world, but they are not the primary reason that Jesus came. Jesus came as a messenger of good news. The disciples came thinking that Jesus would be something that he was not.
- Jesus comes as one who is able to bring healing and deliverance. For us to think that Jesus owes us those kinds of things is wrong. Jesus is not obligated to do anything for us. Anything we receive from the Lord is a blessing and a gift. It is not something we have earned. It is not something we can even say we deserve. It is simply a gift.
I would again challenge you to think about who Jesus really is. I think that many in our world have opinions about who jesus is or who he should be, without really knowing who Jesus really is. Lets make sure that the Jesus we are following is the real Jesus and not something we have created in our mind. Jesus is real, but the ideas we have about Jesus are not true. Make sure that the Jesus you are following us the real Jesus and not just the figment of someone’s imagination.
Some of us maybe need to tell God that we have been following something false and ask for forgiveness. Lets all make sure that we are on the right track.