Summary: A man with a withered hand makes an appeal to the soveriegnty of God, aware that Christ's ability is not handcuffed by His impotence, but subordinate to His will alone.
The last story in the gospel of Mark, prior to this story, we discover that there was hell and havoc in the house of Peter. Jesus has come into the house of Peter and He has healed the mother-in-law of Peter and she got up and served the people. And persons began to bring persons who were sick and filled with demons to be healed and delivered. And then, as the text takes up right before I started reading, Jesus has gone out from the house early in the morning to what the Bible calls ‘A solitary place to pray’. That’s a very interesting and noteworthy nuance because what it is suggesting is that after Jesus has released all of His power, He needs to go somewhere and replenish after He has released. It suggests very clearly that He is a man full of divinity but also full of humanity. And that whenever you release power spiritually you have to restore and replenish yourself, humanly so. One of the most dangerous things that you can ever do is have high spiritual moments and not get somewhere afterwards and restore your spirit. Because one of the greatest times for the Devil to get access to your spirit and access to your life is after you have been on a spiritual high and do nothing to restore your energy, vitality and strength. Here is Jesus—He has healed the sick; He has delivered demons—but He still needs to pray. Because I don’t care how holy you are, how anointed you are; I don’t care how powerful you are. You will never lose the need to have to go somewhere to a solitary place, get on your knees and ask the Lord to restore your energy and to restore your soul. He goes to a solitary place. The Bible declares that they go looking for Him because they can not find Him.
• And I really don’t have time to stay here but there ought to be times when people can’t find you because you are spending time with God. I mean, every now and then, people ought not be able to put their hands on you—not just because you want to be ignored; not just because you don’t want to be bothered; not just because you’re trying to be stuck up or sedate; not just because you’re trying to get away. But just because you are spending time with God to a place where nobody can find you so nobody can interrupt you. And anybody who cannot understand the necessity for your being by yourself and not knowing where you are is somebody you don’t need in your life.
He gets off by Himself and they come looking for Him. And the text declares around verse 36 and 37, that they tell Jesus that ‘the people are looking for you’. Their excited about you—man you’ve been healing folk—you’re a super star; you’re an icon; you are a big balla/shot calla…number one stunner. Everybody wants to see you. But watch what Jesus does: Jesus ignores what they say; and says, ‘come on and lets go to the next town’.
I like that.
• Because what it suggests is that if you are going to be in ministry you have to reach a point where you are not motivated by the masses or captivated by the crowd.
• If you are going to be in ministry, you have to reach a point where crowds don’t captivate you and masses don’t motivate you.
• You have to reach a point where people’s applause doesn’t do anything for you.
• You have to reach a point where you don’t get so enamored and narcissistic and stuck on yourself where you have to go bask in a moment of self-aggrandizement because of what the Lord has allowed you to do.
He ignores the crowd and says, ‘No…I’ve got to move on to where I need to go’. Because Jesus understands something—and that is that the only reason that the crowd wants to see Him is because they have been dazzled by the spectacular. And anybody who follows you because of what they saw you do in the spectacular is somebody who is not going to be with you very long. Because the minute you do something that is not spectacular they are going to turn on you just as much as they were with you.
• That’s why you can’t spend your time lingering over people who pat you on your back and clap in your face; don’t be fooled by people who say you are just as smart as so and so. Because as soon as you do something that they don’t like or say something that they don’t want to hear—they are going to talk about you like a dog like they clapped for you like a star.