Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. Simon and his companions went to look for him, and when they found him, they exclaimed: “Everyone is looking for you!” Jesus replied, “Let us go somewhere else–to the nearby villages–so I can preach there also. That is why I have come.” (Mark 1:35-38 NIV)
Jesus first day of ministry was a huge success. He healed Peter’s mother-in-law, healed the sick, drove out demons. He ministered to the people into the night. In the middle of the night, he went away to pray, spend some time with his Dad. At o’ dark thirty in the morning, people started coming to Peter’s house looking for Jesus. So Peter and a couple of the disciples went out to look for him. When they found him, they said “Jesus, people are looking for you. Let’s go back.” Sounds logical. Jesus was healing people; more people were coming; the news of his work was spreading. This is just the kind of thing the ministry needed, popularity. But Jesus said, “No, I’ve got to go other places.” And he left. This is so counter-intuitive as to how we measure success. Jesus measured success by obeying what God told him to do. Nothing else mattered. Maybe, just maybe, it’s time we redefine what success looks like in our lives as well.