Now when Jesus heard that John had been arrested, he withdrew to Galilee. He left Nazareth and made his home in Capernaum by the sea, in the territory of Zebulun and Naphtali, so that what had been spoken through the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled: “Land of Zebulun, land of Naphtali, on the road by the sea, across the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles— the people who sat in darkness have seen a great light, and for those who sat in the region and shadow of death light has dawned.”
From that time Jesus began to proclaim, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.”
Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and curing every disease and every sickness among the people. So his fame spread throughout all Syria, and they brought to him all the sick, those who were afflicted with various diseases and pains, demoniacs, epileptics, and paralytics, and he cured them. And great crowds followed him from Galilee, the Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea, and from beyond the Jordan.
King Solomon the Wise, once wrote something very profound about there being a time for everything. I’d like to read it to you, because it really is beautiful. “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh.
(There is) a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to throw away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to throw away; a time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace” (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8).
What has this got to do with today’s passage? Quite a lot. Jesus hear that John the Baptist had been arrested, and he withdrew to Galilee. He realized that there might be a danger to himself, and even though he wasn’t afraid — remember, he had come to die — the time wasn’t right. When the time was right, he would go to Jerusalem to face death, but for now, he pulled away to carry his ministry in the region of Galilee.
We also should exercise discernment about the right time to do things. This applies to all areas of life. Consider a married couple where the husband has just done something that upsets his wife greatly. The wife needs to let her husband know how she feels, but he has just returned from work in a foul mood. Much as she needs to vent, this is not the time. She should wait for the right time to speak. To make this decision requires a little introspection.
Now these are decisions that one can make on one’s own, although obtaining God’s guidance even with little things is always wise. However, we also need to understand that some things may not be in our control, because God has his own time for certain things. To accept this, and trust that God will do what needs to be done, is a sign of spiritual maturity. It will also bring great peace of mind.
So, let’s be people who are at peace.