Leviticus 6:1-23; Mark 3:7-19; Psalms 37:7-11; Proverbs 12:24
NT: “Jesus departed with his disciples to the sea, and a large crowd followed from Galilee, and a large crowd followed from Judea, Jerusalem, Idumea, beyond the Jordan, and around Tyre and Sidon. The large crowd came to him because they heard about everything he was doing. Then he told his disciples to have a small boat ready for him, so that the crowd wouldn’t crush him. Since he had healed many, all who had diseases were pressing toward him to touch him. Whenever the unclean spirits saw him, they fell down before him and cried out, “You are the Son of God!” …Jesus went up the mountain and summoned those he wanted, and they came to him. He appointed twelve, whom he also named apostles, to be with him, to send them out to preach, and to have authority to drive out demons.” (Mark 3:7-11, 13-15 CSB)
Despite the animosity from the religious leaders, crowds continued to flock to Jesus… from every region of Israel. The crowds were so large that He was in danger of being crushed. The people were trying to make Him into a national celebrity. How tempting that must have been. How easy it would have been for Jesus to get swept up by His “success” and begin catering to the crowds and maintaining His fandom. Thankfully, Jesus was not interested in celebrity. He was not concerned about His status. His desire was to serve His Father and serve those entrusted to Him. Instead of staying with the crowd, He stole away and went to the Secret Place to spend time with the Father. In Luke 6:12, we see that He spent all night in prayer with the Father, getting strengthened and receiving wisdom on how to proceed. Apparently, part of the wisdom He received from the Father included selecting 12 men from among His followers to be His ambassadors and delegates. 12 men that He would pour into that would later become the leaders of His church. Jesus did not assume anything. Before He did anything, He sought the will of His Father in prayer. He waited on The Father, submitted to the Father, and did nothing outside of His word. Even Jesus did not lean on His own understanding, but waited on understanding from the Father. This kept Him from being swept away by celebrity and missing the purpose for which He was sent. If Jesus lived this way, how much more should we?
Psalms: “Be silent before the Lord and wait expectantly for him; do not be agitated by one who prospers in his way, by the person who carries out evil plans. Refrain from anger and give up your rage; do not be agitated — it can only bring harm. For evildoers will be destroyed, but those who put their hope in the Lord will inherit the land. A little while, and the wicked person will be no more; though you look for him, he will not be there. But the humble will inherit the land and will enjoy abundant prosperity.” (Psalms 37:7-11 CSB)
With so many profiteering from others’ misfortune, taking advantage of other people’s fear and desperation to line their pockets, or unjustly rising to the top on the backs of others, it can be easy to get incensed and burn with indignation. How do we prevent ourselves from getting caught up in the anger and vitriol? We stand silent before the Lord and wait expectantly for Him. We wait to hear what He says on the matter. We wait for His wisdom and His instructions. Instead of living in anxiety and anger, we put our home in Him. We humble ourselves and trust completely in Him. Eventually the evil will burn itself up. We don’t want to be part of that fire. Instead we want to be part of God’s righteousness that shines like the rising son bringing an end to the darkness.