Jesus knew that the people planned to come and take him by force and make him their king, so he left and went into the hills alone. - John 6:15
Have you ever jumped all over an opportunity that seemed like a good thing? You were so excited that you didn’t really think it through or pray about it? You thought to yourself, “It seems so good it has to be right.” Then, after the dust settled, you came to see that the “good thing” really wasn’t the “right thing.” Its times like these that seem to confirm the saying, “Not all good things are God things.” Then frustration or regret creeps in because you feel shamed, duped, and even finagled. What felt like a promotion turned out to be God’s second best.
Proverb 14:12 says, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end, it leads to death.” The wise men of the Bible demonstrate time and again what it means to make wise decisions. One of my leaders in college sat a few of us down and gave us great advice. He told us never to rush into any decision, to always take at least some time to pray over it, considered its ramifications, and if possible to seek counsel. “Rarely,” he said, “will you ever have to make a life-changing decision in a split second. Treat every decision you make as important to God, your family, and yourself.”
It’s amazing when we look at the context of the life and times of Jesus. Having been under Roman oppression for decades, first century Jews expected a Messiah to come and deliver them from them once and for all from their “new Egypt.” However, they failed to see the root of the problem – sin. The real issue was at the core of humanity, not a malevolent regime. It is in this context we see the reason for their desire to make Jesus king. They wanted an earthly deliverer, not an eternal savior.
This passage serves for me an example of wise decision-making. What might have seemed like a promotion of earthly kingship actually would subvert God’s perfect plan of redemption. Jesus knew his mission. He knew the ultimate goal. And what did he do when faced with this pseudo-promotion? He left. And as the passage indicates, he even had to take some alone-time. Why? Maybe he wanted to be with the only One who understood what he was going through.
Word for the Way:
Take time to pray, reflect and seek counsel when it comes to important decision-making matters.