In Monday’s gospel, Jesus invites people to follow him – Simon, Andrew, James and John accept and follow. In Tuesday’s gospel, those with Jesus are described as “followers.” In today’s gospel, they “pursue” him. A more literal translation would be they “hunted him down.” Not exactly following.
In Mark’s succinct description of Jesus’ ministry, the “followers” have seen him cast out a demon in the synagogue, cast out the fever from Simon’s mother-in-law, and cure “many who were sick with various diseases” and again drive “out many demons.” One can imagine that they are quite animated about following Jesus at this point as they are now intimately associated and known to be a “follower” of Jesus, this miracle worker.
“Rising very early before dawn, he left and went off to a deserted place, where he prayed.” They did not follow him there. They hunted him down and said “Everyone is looking for you” perhaps wanting to cajole Jesus to get back on the miracle worker trail. They don’t join him in prayer.
Today take some time for yourself, find that “deserted place” and follow Jesus.