Part 1: Touring Galilee and Meeting Fishermen
Jesus travels from Capernaum to towns and villages in Galilee. We read in the Scriptures of Mark 1:35-39; Matthew 4:23-25; Luke 4:42-44. Jesus prays before daylight. Crowds want Him to stay with them, but He must “preach the Kingdom of God to other cities also.” He goes over all Galilee, “Teaching, Preaching, and Healing.”
His mounting reputation attracts large crowds from the East, the West, the North, and the South, which follow Him and bring Him their sick, suffering, and demon-possessed. He preaches in the Synagogue of Galilee.
Jesus was staying in Capernaum, and went outside the town to pray. Peter thought he was losing opportunities (to minister), as the town was full of people wanting His help. Jesus replied to Peter and noted that no matter how many needy people were in Capernaum, He could not stay there always, because He had work to do in preaching in other towns as well.
What can we learn from this?
Jesus does good things for people wherever He goes; and we can depend upon Him to help us when needed. He does teach us, however, that we must make time for God in the midst of busyness of everyday life. He always intends to help us; however, we must be patient if He tarries, for He is doing a great work in all of us—and we need not worry, because He is our helper and provider.
Part 2: The Leper Healed brings Tremendous Publicity
For this part, we are reading in Mark 1:40-45; Matthew 8:2-4; Luke 5:12-16. People with skin diseases, such as leprosy, were considered unclean and potentially dangerous to public health—therefore, they were considered outcasts. If they were healed, they had to offer sacrifices to symbolize their own cleansing and expressing of thanks (Leviticus 13:45-46; 14:1-20).
Additionally, Jesus would tell people not to publicize His miracle working and Salvation, because it would only cause people to be attracted to Him for a source of entertainment, instead of a real spiritual need. It’s not that He didn’t want people to come to Him for help, but that He didn’t want to attract the wrong crowd of people.
His audience were those in need of a Savior or for healing—to which, people would publicize about Him anyway, because the word of their testimony was too great not to hold in. Jesus was too great, and the measure of spirituality placed upon those blessed by Jesus caused the person to be so overwhelmed with joy that they could not hold it in, but to tell others!
On one occasion of healing for Jesus, He did what everyone avoided: He touched a leper to heal him. He then told the man to present himself to the Priest, so that he could be examined and confirm his healing.
After that, the man was to offer sacrifices required by the Law, and not to publicize what had happened, so that people would not be attracted to Jesus as a miracle-worker. The man disobeyed this, to which, hindered Jesus’ Work.
Many people were attracted to Jesus so much that He could not work in some towns as He wished. However, He continued to help those in need and also praying whenever possible.
What can we learn from this?
Christ’s cleansing of the leper teaches us to come to the Savior in great humility and full submission to His Will, so we can say, “Lord, if thou wilt…” as well. We should not doubt Christ’s readiness to help those in need, because He is faithful. Also, we should not hesitate to spread the praises of Christ.