Ephraim! Was Jesus avoiding the crowds because He was afraid? No! Jesus understood that His death would take place, but not until the proper time! Are we disturbed by sudden changes in our lives? We must remember that these changes come by the hands of our loving God, who is always watching over us!
It was a dangerous time for Jesus; because the Jewish leaders intended to arrest Him, He could no longer walk openly among the Jews.
Jesus therefore walked no more openly among the Jews; but went thence unto a country near to the wilderness, into a city called Ephraim, and there continued with his disciples.
Did this prevent Jesus from fulfilling His ministry to the people? No! Jesus was sent to reveal God to all people--not just the Jews. As I read through this I thought, "What a blessing for this city." Can you imagine having Jesus, wholly divine and wholly human living in your town? Jesus' ministry was redirected, but it was certainly not ended.
Did Jesus go to this city because He was afraid of the Jews? No, Jesus was not afraid, but He knew that it was not yet time for Him to be delivered to the Jews.
Often we are disturbed by sudden changes in our lives--especially those totally unexpected. How are we to view these changes? We must remember that our chief purpose is to glorify God, enjoy Him forever, and be a living testimony for Him wherever He takes us. That purpose does not change even if our circumstances do.
What a blessing to be a child of God, and to be so comfortable with life that we are able to live in joy and peace no matter where we are. We must remember that our eternal life does not begin when we leave this world. Our eternal life has already begun!
If unsettling changes come into your life, do not be afraid to go to where God leads. The name of this city means: "fruitful." Go and be fruitful for the Lord!