Carpe Diem

by DanWolgemuth on May 21, 2021

Perceiving then that they were about to come and take him by force to make him king, Jesus withdrew again to the mountain by himself. (John 6:15)

He was about to go viral. His popularity was soaring. The campaign pledges were skyrocketing…


The miracle worker. The bread breaker. The fish multiplier. The brilliant teacher. The compassionate rabbi.


And yet, while the disciples were busy collecting the leftovers from His latest awe-inspiring miracle… Jesus steps out of the limelight, not into it.

While the marketing department was focusing the spotlight, Jesus slipped into the shadows.

While the crowd was lining up to vote… Jesus closed the polls.

A moment for attack… and Jesus withdraws.

Perhaps this was the beginning of the end for Judas. A seminal “carpe diem” moment… the ideal wave of popularity to surf. The perfect moment of momentum to exploit. The ideal “pluck the day” confluence… and Jesus walks. Disappears. Retreats.

The notion of king-making was heady stuff. Ego enticing. Pride elevating. A suffering avoiding shortcut. King without a cross… something Jesus had heard before while in the Wilderness for 40 days.

Jesus knew…

Politics and power and coercion don’t make a king. A surge in the polls, and a bulging headcount don’t tip the scales. Jesus, even Jesus knew that glory is not a commodity to be traded. It is a distinction reserved for the Almighty. A gift reserved for no man.

Jesus… tempted like we are, knew. His strategy was abrupt, perhaps almost rude, but decisive. Solitary time with His Father was the only thing that would settle His soul, that would calibrate His mind, that would galvanize His resolve. This was not a step of fear… it was a journey toward hope.

While most of us would have been pouring fuel on this fire… Jesus tamped down the embers of popularity.

His message was eternal… and as such He was in no rush to short-circuit the process. But make no mistake, walking away from the emotional crowd and His closest friends was an act of worship. His solidarity to His calling didn’t just exact a toll at the cross… it started much earlier.

There was nothing viral about Jesus. He made sure of that.

This was about preparing His followers to suffer and sacrifice and abandon their own self-serving ambitions for Kingdom objectives.

When most people would have been headed to the podium, Jesus was walking up the mountain. And so, should we.

Carpe diem… pluck the day. It’s time to follow Jesus to the mountains.

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