In Luke 4 we read of Jesus, full of the Spirit, entering Capernaum. This included a visit to Simon’s house and the healing of his mother-in-law. After a long stretch of ministry (not to mention the temptation in the wilderness and travel from Nazareth), Jesus went into a solitary (quiet) place. The crowds followed him and begged him to come back and continue the “good stuff” he had been doing previously.
Jesus, however, knew that he needed to keep moving to other communities. His purpose was clear. Let’s look at it in His own words:
“I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns as well; for I was sent for this purpose” Luke 4:43.
It could have been easy (and notably popular) for him to hang out in Capernaum a while longer. He was attracting quite a following because of his miracle-working healing powers. But that was not his primary purpose.
Earlier in Luke 4 we see how Jesus applied the words of the prophet Isaiah to his primary purpose:
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim…” (4:18).
- Liberty to captives
- Recovery to the blind
- Freedom to the oppressed
- God’s favor
There are a number of wonderful things that Jesus did while he was on this earth. It would take considerable space to recount all of his anointed exploits. Nothing that Jesus did should be discounted or minimized, and yet, it would seem that he had ONE primary purpose: to preach the good news of the kingdom of God.
What is your primary purpose? Of course, there will always be secondary, and wonderfully important things that you and I do. It’s simply not possible for us to do only ONE THING – not even Jesus could stake that claim. But it is vital for us to follow the pattern of Jesus, who constantly aligned himself to that which the Father called him to accomplish.
Like Jesus, we will find ourselves being pulled and prodded by the whim of the crowds.
How should we respond?
Graciously and intentionally: “Thank you, but I must stay on task. God has given me a primary purpose for my life. It is to proclaim the good news of the Kingdom of God. Everything else is secondary.”
Imagine what could be accomplished if we discovered our primary purpose and lived intentionally to accomplish it.