Jesus grew up in a small town in Galilee, the son of a carpenter who learned the trade from his father. No doubt he was expected to stay there and follow the pattern of many who had gone before Him. But when He began His public ministry at the age of 30, He adapted a new lifestyle, one that modeled mobility for the sake of the Kingdom.
He left Nazareth to be baptized by John the Baptist along the Jordan River. Immediately afterwards He spent 40 days in the desert in prayer and fasting and was tempted by the devil to abandon His earthly mission. During the next year of His ministry, the ‘small-town boy’ ministered in and around the big city of Jerusalem in the province of Judea, making short trips through Samaria to Capernaum and engaging in a wedding in Cana.
Somewhere near the beginning of the second year of His ministry, Jesus permanently moved from His hometown of Nazareth to Capernaum. “Now when he heard that John had been arrested, he withdrew into Galilee. And leaving Nazareth he went and lived in Capernaum by the sea, in the territory of Zebulun and Naphtali…” (Matthew 4:12-13 ESV) It was from Capernaum that He would now live and minister for the remainder of His ministry. He did return to His hometown briefly, but it did not go well. Many questioned the legitimacy of His ministry and refused to place their faith in Him. (see Mark 6:1-6) Capernaum would now be referred to as His “home.” (see Mark 2:1) For the remaining two and a half years, Jesus would make multiple trips with His disciples throughout Galilee, Judea, Samaria, Phoenicia, Decapolis and Perea, returning to Capernaum in between trips.
Jesus modeled mobility as He carried out the mission for which He had come. And we who would follow Him are also called to a similar lifestyle. Now it is not sin to locate in one town or city for an extended period. But the question to answer is this, “If Jesus asks me to move, am I willing to go wherever He directs?” Be very careful if you find yourself saying, “I’ll go anywhere, Lord, except …” Kingdom mobility involves both attitude and action.
Mobility is implicit for His disciples as we read what we ‘leave’ for His sake in Mark 10:29-30 (ESV) – “Jesus said, “Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands, for my sake and for the gospel, who will not receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and in the age to come eternal life.” (italics added)
Is Jesus asking you to move? If so, you should start to pack!