“Jesus replied, “Let us go somewhere else—to the nearby villages—so I can preach there also. That is why I have come.” 39 So he traveled throughout Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and driving out demons.” Mark 1.38-39
This is what I have come. It’s what Jesus said to the disciples when approached during the early morning prayer time he was having with his Father. While Jesus was interrupted, he stated his reason for being there. I have no doubt that God had just confirmed this in prayer and that Jesus was not surprised in the least by the interference by the disciples. It was to be expected and helped affirm his purpose.
Jesus told them, “Let us go somewhere else,” they were moving on to another town after they had ministered in Capernaum, “to the nearby villages,” including a dozen in the Galilee region, “so I can preach there also.” And this is when he says, “That is why I have come.” So Jesus goes on the road and with two objectives — 1) preaching the gospel, 2) driving out demons.
In my work and ministry I can easily relate to the first reason of preaching the gospel. Even though I do not serve in a local church, I do the work I do so that the gospel might be proclaimed. From Revive youth and children’s camps to training up ministers at Truett Seminary — the reason is gospel proclamation. At camp we bring in speakers who will preach to children and youth – and many are saved! At seminary we take those saved kids and train them to go forth and carry on Christ’s work.
But honestly, we don’t cast out too many demons. Perhaps we should! Maybe modernity had lead us believe all the demons are gone. Maybe we connect anxiety, depression, suicidal thoughts, sickness, physical illness, and the like to only medical treatment that can be explained by science. So where did all these demons go if they are not interfering with well intentioned humans seeking to know God? The truth is, they went no where. The wave of mental illness at least is partly demonic attack (read more at https://www.gotquestions.org/psychological-demon.html).
My point is that Jesus had a reason for leaving his sacred, quiet place of prayer. He went to fulfill the work the Father brought him to earth to do. That reason was not just preaching and driving out demons — it was whole person deliverance. It was saving souls for the Kingdom. Jesus would come to earth to die. He would become the sacrificial Lamb slain for the sins of the world.
Although Jesus began in a remote village on the north short of the Sea of Galilee, he would die in the Jewish capital of Jerusalem, a strategic causeway, and trade route for the entire known world at the time. His work, while alive – was only a microcosm of the work that would continue after his death and resurrection.
Have you placed your hope in this Savior? Do you need deliverance from sin, from death, from demonic attacks? Are you sick, struggling, depressed? You have a redeeming loving Savior in Jesus who can and will save you and bring new life to your old bones.
Let’s turn to Christ now. Our rock, shelter and Shepherd of our souls. He will meet you where you are and bring healing to your life once again.
“O Lord God, today I pray for the peace of Israel. While our world remains in turmoil, your role is not diminished. Will you rescue us? Will you save your people? Will you find us willing and able to repent? Come now, Holy Spirit, help me place my hope in you. I love you Lord and praise your name. For you are good and your love endures forever.” Amen