Let us go somewhere else to the towns nearby, so that I may preach there also; for that is what I came for. Mark 1:38
If every time we prayed we immediately got what we asked for, in no time we’d set out to remove all challenges, hindrances, pain and delays in our lives. While Jesus did heal many who were sick and exorcise many demons, his main purpose was to preach the news that the kingdom of God was at hand (Mark 1:15).
That’s why he needed to spread the word in other cities and not just set up his medical practice in Capernaum. The people and his disciples needed to learn this upfront. The Messiah was at hand but wouldn’t be taking the world by force on this house call. Perhaps this is why he gagged the demons.
So bothered was he by the shallow—but understandable—response of the people that he sought out a quiet place early in the morning to pray (Mark 1:35). But there he was “hunted down” by his new recruits with their good news, that more sick awaited his healing hand. They too did not yet grasp the magnitude or thrust of his ministry.
Realize that Jesus did not callously leave the winding line of sick in a lurch. They too had to learn he had a higher calling to preach rather than to practice medicine, that his specialty was in healing souls.
Not lost on us is the priority of prayer to refocus on God’s plan for us, and it’s the most needful while we’re still in the dark.