38 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.”
Jesus has driven the demons out of a man by the power of his word. He has healed numerous people, including Simon Peter’s mother-in-law. But now he is moving on to the next town and for a very specific reason. He wants to preach the Gospel to them as well. That is why he came. It drove him. It consumed him. He launched his ministry by declaring that he came to preach Good News, freedom for the oppressed, the forgiveness of sins, captives set free.
We can never overestimate the critical task of spreading the Gospel. It is so easy for us to get distracted by so many things that seem to be important. Jesus could have easily been distracted by all sorts of things, opposition from his family, religious leaders who wanted to debate him, people with needs of every variety. But he kept his focus on declaring the Good News that salvation was available by following Him in faith.
The salvation Jesus preached about was not just a ticket to heaven. He offered a changed life here and now as well. That is obvious in the lives he changed and the message of freedom and abundant life that he preached. That new life was to be found in a relationship of trust, following Jesus no matter what.
Crucial to the task of following Jesus is being people who live life differently because of the new life we are given. It is also crucial that we proclaim the Good News to others as Jesus did. It is not enough to just live a nice Christian life and hope people get it. It is critical that followers of Jesus also preach the message, meaning we also declare and tell others what Jesus has done for us and what he can do for them.