When we find someplace we like, it is hard to move on to something new, someplace new. Likewise, when people like us, they don't want to let go of us. There is a comfort in the familiar, there is a confidence and a consistency in the known quantity.
Jesus faced some of that today. He cures Simon's mother-in-law and then "all those" who were sick in any way, shape, manner or form came to him and he cured them all. They liked this guy! They liked the weird things that he was saying and his odd world view, although they probably didn't really understand all of what he was saying and doing. They just knew that they needed to keep him around.
Jesus replies by saying I must proclaim the good news of the kingdom of God to the other cities also, for I was sent for this purpose. He was saying: I like you folks too! But I've gotta go so others can feel this way too! I think we are challenged by Jesus today. We are challenged to take a look around us and consider whether we are too comfortable: are we preaching to the same choir over and over again. Are we spreading the good news to those who haven't heard it yet? Are we opening the kingdom's borders to those who have been excluded? For that is what we have been sent to do.
Copyright 2008, John F. Dwyer. All Rights Reserved.