“The next morning Jesus departed and went to a deserted place. Yet the crowds were seeking him, and they came to him and tried to keep him from leaving them. But Jesus said to them, “I must proclaim the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns too, for that is what I was sent to do.” So he continued to preach in the synagogues of Judea.”
Between the exorcising of the demon in 4.31-37 and here, Jesus has been healing and casting out (4.38-41). He points out to the people that He had a ministry to fulfill, a purpose and plan to work toward. He said that He needed to proclaim the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns too. After moving on physically from Capernaum (v.31) we read that Jesus did, in fact, preach in the synagogues of Judea. John Martin writes that “…wherever Jesus went He constantly taught that He was the Messiah who had come to proclaim the favorable year of the Lord”.
Would a liar have claimed this as His mission and mandate? Surely they would have claimed something different as their main task, perhaps personal gain or glory? Scripture foretells of a Messiah doing exactly what Jesus did (cf. Luke 4.18-29) so we know Jesus was not lying about His purpose and plans.
Would a lunatic have made this mission statement? I think the previous point still stands here: someone out of their right mind would not have made statements about their purpose and plans that were so logically coherent and Scripturally consistent.
Again then we are left with the conclusion that these are the words of the Lord. Aren’t you glad they are? Yes, in this immediate context ‘the other towns too’ is most likely referring to the whole nation of Israel, but, elsewhere in Scripture we read that the Messiah will be a light to the nations (Isaiah 49.6) and will give light to those who sit in darkness (Luke 1.79). Here we have widened in scope, broadened in reach, and this includes you. Aren’t you glad that
“I must proclaim the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns too, for that is what I was sent to do.”
are the words of the Lord?