From the people of the town we see a huge response once the sabbath is technically over. It is normally difficult enough getting the ill and the frail to travel in daylight hours, let alone the additional difficulties in travelling in twilight and in the dark; and yet they all come; and their expectant faith is rewarded.
Carefully watch what Jesus does next; because it isn’t what a celebrity would do. A celebrity would enjoy the limelight, and probably take a few curtain calls the next day, and let word of mouth bring increasingly more people to him each day.
Jesus after a very long, tiring and rather amazing day doesn’t sleep for very long, because His priority is spending quality time in prayer with the Father, in order to get grounded again in the reality of that relationship. He gets up long before everyone else, and intentionally seeks out a place of peace and quiet.
And He stays there.
And He waits there.
It is highly likely that Jesus left Simon Peter’s house with whatever travel gear He had.
When day comes we are told ‘Everybody is looking for You’. Some may have searched Peter’s house. Some may have searched Peter’s boat. Others would have looked for Jesus along the lakeside shoreline. Others would have gone looking at the market place, or back in the synagogue.
The only people who actually found Jesus were Peter, James, John and Andrew.
Why is that?
Because they had got to know Jesus enough to be able to work out His likes and dislikes.
Because they knew enough of His character to be able to go looking in the right places.
In some ways this was a test. How well did they know Him? How prepared were they to leave all familiar things behind? Would they follow wherever He lead?
After big ministry days and momentous experiences of God have you noticed that Jesus becomes a little difficult to find? It isn’t uncommon. Often the same test is placed before us. Are we following Jesus for what He can do? Or are we following Jesus because of who He is? And out of a desire to be with Him and get to know Him better?
So that’s the challenge for this week. To examine just how far we are willing to go in order to find Jesus, and to discover whether we are willing to follow Him on His terms or not.
May God help us to be faithful to Him in all seasons, when everything is going more than well, and when everything is dry, arid and lonely, and everything in between. Amen.