December 16

“After Jesus left there, He went to the region of Tyre. When He went into a house He did not want anyone to know, but He was not able to escape notice” (Mark 7:24).

We are going to spend the next few days “digging in” to this passage of scripture from Mark’s Gospel. It is a clear break from the direction that Jesus and His disciples have been previously following. Here, they departed from Palestine as the Jewish rejection of Him becomes more widespread and intense. They went into a distant Gentile region where Jesus sought solace and solitude for a while. A departure from our normal routine can be a time of refreshment and relief. Jesus wanted to be alone and step away for a moment from the grind of ministry. Do you give yourself permission to step away for a short time and take a break? Jesus sought to do this and we should seek to do this as well.

Yet the Bible tells us that it wasn’t long while He was staying with someone that word got out that He was there. We are not told whose house Jesus was staying at while in the region, but can we imagine the privilege of hosting Jesus in our house? Well we really do have that privilege everyday as His disciples. Jesus lives within us through the presence of the Holy Spirit and our bodies are God’s temple or dwelling place (see 1 Corinthians 6:19). We have the honor of walking with Jesus and being in fellowship with Him every day. The thrill that Zacchaeus had when Jesus told him He must visit in his home that day (Luke 19:5) can be ours every day as His devoted followers.

Why didn’t Jesus want anyone to know He was there? Well, I believe He wanted some time alone as we have previously stated, but there is also another reason that becomes clearer later on. Jesus’ mission and focus was to present Himself to the Jews as their Messiah. Taking the gospel to the Gentiles all over the world would come later on, primarily through His body – the church. Jesus always sought to model for His disciples the necessity and importance of living life with a narrow focus. Jesus’ primary focus at this time was the Jews, not Gentiles. This doesn’t mean that Jesus disregarded or ignored Gentiles in anyway. His life and ministry prove otherwise, yet He remained focused on His primary mission. This is an important principle for us as well. Are we remaining focused on our primary mission and calling or have we become distracted? Another glorious truth emerges at the end of our verse today – Jesus cannot escape notice. Anytime Jesus is present at all, He will impact and influence and touch the lives around Him because He cannot be hidden. Jesus is the Light of the World (John 8:12).