Simon and his companions hunted for him. When they found him, they said to him,“Everyone is searching for you.” He answered, “Let us go on to the neighboring towns, so that I may proclaim the message there also; for that is what I came out to do.” And he went throughout Galilee, proclaiming the message in their synagogues and casting out demons. (Mark 1:36-39).
Jesus has gone missing and the disciples go looking for him. “Hey, everyone is looking for you. What are you doing out here by yourself?” Jesus’ response? “Let’s head in the other direction to some neighboring towns so I can preach there. That’s the reason I have come.” Not exactly what the disciples were expecting for an answer. Jesus says he must go out and preach; that is why he came. That’s all fine and dandy, but why is preaching better than the miraculous healings?
Jesus wanted people to follow him and see him as Messiah through faith, not through him doing miraculous deeds and healings. If we follow Jesus because we see him as a miracle worker, we miss the point. Jesus’ message was “repent and believe the Good News that the Kingdom of God is at hand.”
Jesus never went out looking for people to heal. That was never his primary mission. People came to him seeking his healing touch, asking for his help, and he had compassion on them. Some of them did believe. Some did repent and follow Jesus, and their lives were changed forever. These were the ones who, like Simon’s mother-in-law, responded with gratitude and devotion.
Sometimes we don’t have all the answers. And I think that’s okay. Tennyson once said, “There lies more faith in honest doubt than in most creeds.” What we can be sure of is that God is God and we are not. Are we looking for God or the candy in God’s hand? Let us pray:
Dear Lord, the God of those who seek and the God of those who find, this Holy Week be with each of us, in our seeking and in our finding. Amen.