In Luke 4-5 there are two very common responses to Jesus. The first response comes from the people of Capernaum, where Jesus was teaching and performing miracles. Jesus had been teaching every Sabbath day and was also healing the sick and freeing the demon possessed. One morning Jesus withdrew to an isolated place and the people tried to find him and when they did, they pleaded with Jesus:
4:42 Early the next morning Jesus went out to an isolated place. The crowds searched everywhere for him, and when they finally found him, they begged him not to leave them. 43 But he replied, “I must preach the Good News of the Kingdom of God in other towns, too, because that is why I was sent.”
In this first response, I think there are times when being close to Jesus has so many benefits that we don’t want him to go away…and while this is a befitting response that reveals the goodness and greatness of the Lord, it is also an inconsiderate response that pays little regard for the work of Jesus in spreading “Good News” and does not think about others Jesus will heal and liberate.
The second response comes shortly after the first and it comes from Simon Peter when he almost sinks his boat due to the large catch of fish. Peter realizes the power of Jesus and bows before him saying:
5:8b “Oh, Lord, please leave me—I’m such a sinful man.” 9 For he was awestruck by the number of fish they had caught, as were the others with him.
In this second response, Peter comprehended the power of Jesus and it was too much for him to take in. So, again we have an acknowledgement of Jesus’ power and that is the good part. However, Jesus suggests a different way of dealing with the problem and instead of going away from sinful Peter, Jesus asks Peter to follow him and learn from him.
These narratives show us the incredible power of God and the tragic weakness of humans. When we understand God’s goodness through Jesus Christ, then we want to soak it up and get all we can…like a thirsty desert traveler who has just stumbled upon water. Yet, when we are confronted with our weakness through Jesus Christ, then we ask him to go away because we are not worthy to be in the presence of such goodness.
But Jesus doesn’t go away, nor does he stay forever…his invitation to you is to follow, learn, and be a bearer of the same good news, and then join Jesus in the Father’s work. Jesus says, “I will not stay…I will not go away…let’s go together helping others.”
I want to share thoughts, insights, and scriptures that lead us in the direction of Christ.