When you read the gospels you come away with the feeling that while “the common people heard him gladly” (as the well-known clause in the King James has it), that wasn’t true of the religious hierarchy. What Jesus was doing as well as what he was teaching was an affront to their religious system. Since they were normally in control, due to their elevated position in the clerical hierarchy, they were annoyed by the way people were accepting the relatively simple approach of Jesus. It’s not amusing to be deprived of the pleasure of exercising power. They wouldn’t admit it but, as we know, the possession and exercise of power is the common goal of sinful man at every level.
Let’s look at the context in Mark 2 to get the larger picture. One day Jesus and his disciples were walking along beside a wheat field. They were hungry so they picked some grain, The problem was that it was the Sabbath and the Pharisees, who were always on the watch for violations, confronted them for their unlawful conduct. Jesus responded by pointing out that what they had done was a common practice and that scripture taught that “the Sabbath was made for the sake of man,” not the other way around (vs. 27). The religious leaders were furious but Jesus continued day by day to heal all who were ill from various diseases. When he went into a synagogue the Pharisees were there, waiting to see if he would heal a man with a shriveled hand. Jesus looked at them in anger, told the man to stretch out his hand, which he then restored better than new. At this point the Pharisees decided to get together with the Herodians (normally they were at odds) to plan some way to get rid of Jesus for good.
At this critical point Jesus decided to withdraw with his disciples to Lake Galilee. Why would he do that? Was he a coward who feared for his life? By no means! Were that true he never would have continued his ministry of healing the sick and casting out demons. No. He withdrew because he knew that his time had not yet come. He understood that his destiny was the cross and that no plan devised by man could alter that.
There is a striking need among God’s people to live with that same confidence. The life of every believer is part of a divine plan and what God has willed will in time come to pass. While we are not pawns, robotically responding to divine directions, we will, at the end of our days, realize that He was the one in charge every step along the way. This removes all uncertainty from life. It frees us from the responsibility of being in charge. God is the one in control and he knows the right course of action for every point along the way. How fortunate to take our hands off the steering wheel of life and simply enjoy the journey.