Authorized Version Translation:
42 And when it was day, he departed and went into a desert place: and the people sought him, and came unto him, and stayed him, that he should not depart from them.
43 And he said unto them, I must preach the kingdom of God to other cities also: for therefore am I sent.
44 And he preached in the synagogues of Galilee.
1901 ASV Translation:
42 And when it was day, he came out and went into a desert place: and the multitudes sought after him, and came unto him, and would have stayed him, that he should not go from them.
43 But he said unto them, I must preach the good tidings of the kingdom of God to the other cities also: for therefore was I sent.
44 And he was preaching in the synagogues of Galilee.
I. Jesus' Claim To Have Been "Sent".
A. He uses the fact that He was "sent" to make decisions about what He would and would not do.
1. Interestingly, it was "being sought after by the crowds " that set the stage in this text...an issue that most folks simply overlook because they lust after it so much that they cannot see anyone really turning away from it. The single greatest fault among "Christians" is the desire to be well received by the crowds and the proof is in the fact that numerical growth in ministry is seen as a sign of success.
2. Jesus was clearly unaffected by the false adulation -- crowds require that you satisfy them -- but His disciples were not.
B. Doubtless it is easier to decide what to do, or not to do, if one has a strong sense of purpose.
1. The major question this reality raises is this: Does God give to each person a sense of purpose, or is this reserved for "special" people who fit certain crucial circumstances in the development of the Kingdom?
a. Clearly there are texts which indicate a "general" sense of purpose.
1) "Laying hold of that for which I was laid hold of..." -- Philippians 3:12-14.
2) "Laying aside every weight..." -- Hebrews 12:1-2.
3) "Run so as to obtain the prize..." -- 1 Corinthians 9:24; Philippians 3:14.
4) "As stewards of the manifold grace..." -- 1 Peter 4:10.
b. Just as clearly, there are texts which indicate a certain "ease" in setting aside any "sense of purpose".
1) "I am rich and have need of nothing..." -- Revelation 3:17.
2) "Making shipwreck of the faith..." -- 1 Timothy 1:19.
2. The facts are these...
a. Our present circumstances dictate a large majority of our "calling" in terms of the details.
b. The issue is not our current responsibilities; it is the "baptizing" of our lusts into Jesus so that we justify what we want to do that has nothing to do with the Kingdom of God or His righteousness.
1) If a person "must", then a person "must".
2) But, if a person can refrain with no sense of "spiritual loss", the question then arises: Should I...??
a) We are free to do as we choose with what is ours (Acts 5:4) even if what we choose is going to reduce our reward at the Judgment Seat of Christ.
b) But what we choose to do will have a direct bearing on the outcome of that Judgment.
II. Jesus' "Calling".
A. He casts it in the light of a "necessity to preach the Kingdom of the God."
1. The "preaching" included the demonstrations of His claims, but it was His preaching that was ultimately significant -- since the vast majority of "Christians" over the centuries have become such without such demonstrations.
2. The content -- the Kingdom of the God -- is a very large topic. There are indications that He focused upon its advent into the midst of the nation, but this is not a Lukan focus. In fact, the only place where he records that the "Kingdom of God is at hand" is in the discourse in chapter twenty-one (21:31) where the future is being revealed.
B. He was "preaching" (different term than above) in the synagogues of Judea.
1. There is a serious textual difference. Many texts read "of Galilee"; many good witnesses read "of Judea".
2. The "unto" (translated "in") may well have a "reach" in mind. Jesus was commissioned to preach in the "other" (distinctively different) cities and that commission reached as far as the synagogues of Judea.