“And immediately He (Jesus) left the synagogue and entered the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John. Now Simon’s mother-in-law lay ill with a fever, and immediately they told him about her. And He came and took her by the hand and lifted her up, and the fever left her, and she began to serve them. That evening at sundown they brought to Him all who were sick or oppressed by demons. And the whole city was gathered together at the door. And He healed many who were sick with various diseases, and cast out many demons. And He would not permit the demons to speak, because they knew Him. 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.” (Mark 1:29-39 ESV)
What a busy day it had been for Jesus! First, He preached at the worship service, and found Himself face to face with a demon-possessed man. So He set him free. Then He went home with Peter, only to discover a sick woman who needed His healing. The news about what He was doing spread all over that area, and by nightfall practically the whole city was at the front door begging for help. Who knows how long it took Jesus to heal all those people, before He could finally fall into bed?
Above all, Jesus wanted to do the will of God the Father. So when He found Himself overwhelmed, He snuck out early in the morning and went to pray. And when Peter came to bug Him with “Everybody is looking for You!” Jesus had an answer to give: He said, “Let’s go somewhere else to preach, because that’s why I came.”
Jesus was saying “No.” He knew His limits; He knew He could not please everybody. By leaving Capernaum, He said no to a lot of people, and probably got a few folks mad at Him. But that was the only way He could say “Yes” to God the Father. That was the only way that, ultimately, Jesus could walk the road to the cross, where He would suffer and die in order to give us real life and forgiveness. Think of it; Jesus’ “No” to the people of Capernaum became His “Yes” to you.
Think about your own life. I suspect you too have a lot of people making demands on you. How do you know which ones to satisfy, and which ones to say “No” to?
As a Christian who belongs to Jesus, you have the Holy Spirit’s help. Ask Him to show you what you should be doing, and what you can safely say “No” to. Ask Jesus to live through you, giving you His wisdom and His love for people. You are only one cell in the body of Christ. You cannot meet everybody’s needs. But with God’s help, you can figure out what is most important, and do that with joy.
Prayer: Lord, help me to see clearly what You have for me to do. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Kari Vo.
1. Describe your busiest day.
2. Is it easy or hard for you to say “No” to people? Why?
3. In what specific ways has God said “Yes” to you forever and ever?