"I Have To Proclaim My Message There Also"
Mark gives us a summary of what Jesus did in Capernaum: he worked cures and exorcisms, he addressed the congregation in the synagogue, he stayed with the family of Peter and Andrew. And early in the morning, he would go apart to pray. Peter and his friends would like to capitalize on Jesus’s popularity in Capernaum, and establish a base in that town. But Jesus is unwilling. “Let’s move on to the country towns of the neighborhood,” he says. “I have to proclaim my message there too, for this is why I have come.” When we look at the life of Jesus we are amazed at the frequency and the rigour of his travels. He is always on the move, often in fairly difficult circumstances. Often he puts up with friends who give him shelter at their homes, for he has no home of his own. All the while he preaches and teaches, suffers the pressures of the crowds who exploit his ability to heal and make demands of him all the time. Often he spends the night in prayer, not in sleep. He has no security of home and family. What is uppermost in his mind is to spread the message of the kingdom. The mission takes on an urgency with Jesus and its zeal consumes him. Did he have the normal joys and pleasures of ordinary men? We would like to think so, but the Gospels do not give much indication of this. But then the Gospels are not biographical notes, they are faith testaments. They do not deal with trivial and transient details; they speak of more substantial matters. Already Jesus gives his disciples a template for their own proclamation of the ‘good news’. He was completely detached from family and from all personal possessions. He relied completely on God. This is how he expects his disciples to be as well.