And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed. And Simon and those who were with him searched for him, and they found him and said to him, “Everyone is looking for you.” And he said to them, “Let us go on to the next towns, that I may preach there also, for that is why I came out.” And he went throughout all Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and casting out demons.
In the press of life, someone else always needs something more. Any servant may repeatedly “burn the candle at both ends.” Even Jesus. Mark 1:34 indicates his yesterday was long—
“at sundown, they brought all who were sick and oppressed by demons. The whole city gathered at the door, and he healed many who were sick…he cast out many demons.”
Reflect on this. Surrounded relentlessly by sickness and demonic spiritual powers. How quickly did sleep come when finally the Savior’s head hit the pillow?
An internal alarm roused Jesus. A mission moved him through predawn darkness to a secret place, known alone to him and His Father. Critical soul-restoring minutes, perhaps hours. Might we wonder what Jesus needed more, shut-eye or sustaining prayer? What do we need more, despite the chorus of demands? For the God-man, first things deserve first place. Time with God before time with men. Otherwise, time with men forfeits direction from God.
How instructive this short report! Peter’s frustration bubbles up, as if saying, “How dare you be unavailable!” [Notice…to those who have already heard about you.] But Jesus received directing vision. On to unreached towns. On to isolated people. Good news needs spreading, exposure, chances to hear and receive by faith. A passion expanding the scope of ministry.