1 After this, Jesus went around in Galilee. He did not want to go about in Judea because the Jewish leaders there were looking for a way to kill him.
I love this verse. I cannot say that I have ever payed attention to it before but today it was like gold in my heart. I have two thoughts as to why I love this:
1. Jesus didn't do things just to say that he could. He didn't go to Judea not because he didn't think that he could escape death, he didn't go to Judea because God had not instructed him to be there yet. He is obedient. Judea was full of action, that is where the huge gathering was but Jesus didn't desire the attention enough to be disobedient. he waited because he knew his time in Judea would come at the right time. How often do I want to jump into new things because they will get me ahead, or they will be full of publicity, or they will make money? Jesus trusts God enough to trust His timing. That is a huge lesson in itself. Wait to be told to move before you sprint off in the wrong direction.
2. How often do we find ourselves, even in our intentional living and ministry, purposefully hurting ourselves? I'm not talking death blows but flesh wounds. In the words of Johnny cash, "I hurt myself today, to see if I still feel." I am serious. Is it not natural to expect the worse? When things are smooth, when things are working there is always a spot reserved in the free will portion of our brains to trigger a destructive emotion that is ticking like a time-bomb. In order to feed the emotion there becomes a subconscious search for distress. Jesus doesn't want things to go wrong. He is stoked about perfection, he desires good. He didn't go to Judea because it would disturb his ministry, his death was not necessary at that time yet he still had feeling, he wasn't searching for pain he simply trusts that good is good.