Jesus died to give us what we have needed the most: eternal salvation. While staying at the home of Simon and Andrew, Jesus achieves great fame as a healer whose ability is sought by the entire town. When people bring the sick and the demon possessed to Him one evening, Jesus spends much of His time meeting their desperation with His incomparable power. But after just one evening of exorcizing demons and healing the sick, Jesus decides the next morning to move on to the neighboring towns. He does not want to stay and relish His fame, nor does He want to heal every person in the town. Instead, He declares to His disciples that He must travel to other villages throughout Galilee to preach. He must reveal Himself as the prophesied Messiah to as many people in as many places as possible. “That,” He says, “is why I have come.”
Jesus saves. We see throughout the Gospel accounts that Jesus saves people from the decay of illness and the oppression of demonic forces. In fact, He contributes a great portion of His time rescuing people from these types of suffering. But even more important to Jesus than healing and exorcizing is His work of preaching, of revealing to people His identity as the Son of God and the prophesied Messiah. Jesus’ healing and casting out demons would serve as proof that His preaching was true. Why did Jesus need to preach about Himself? Because His Work of Eternal Salvation on the Cross would be of far greater benefit to humanity than temporary cures from illness or momentary rescues from suffering.
Who is Jesus? Today, some people seek Jesus the Healer to relieve them from pain. This is not wrong. Others want to know Jesus the Refuge, Who keeps all enemies at bay. This is okay too. But it is when we first recognize Jesus as the Messiah that all other things about Him can be known and understood more fully. We must remember that Jesus preached about Himself what He wanted people know about Himself: that He had come to save the world. Only when we acknowledge Him as the Promised Messiah can we begin to appreciate Who Jesus really is and what He has achieved for us. To experience the joy and freedom of eternal Salvation, we must seek Jesus the Messiah.