Instead he went out and began to talk freely, spreading the news. As a result Jesus could no longer enter a town openly but stayed outside in lonely places. Yet the people still came to him from everywhere. Mark 1:45

This verse refers to the leper that Jesus healed. Jesus had sent him away “with a strong warning: See that you don’t tell this to anyone” (verse 44). However the healed leper “went out and talked freely.” His disobedience caused Jesus to change his plans, he could no longer enter a town openly. Nevertheless, the word “yet” tells us that ultimately God’s plans weren’t thwarted (see also Job 42:2).

It reminds me of a story I heard of a pastor’s daughter who became a drug addict. Years later she became a Christian and became involved in a ministry to drug addicts. Her father made the comment it was never God’s intention for her to become a drug addict, but having chosen that path God was still able to use her wrong choices to bring hope and healing to others.

Earlier in the same chapter, Jesus had commanded demons to be quiet (verses 25 & 34) and they obeyed him. The demons had to obey Jesus but the leper didn’t. God has given humans a free will so we can obey/disobey him whereas the demons don’t have the same choices.

This incident speaks to me of the Sovereignty of God. He is in charge. He commands demons but gives man a choice. Even then he is powerful enough to override the results of our disobedience and bring about his purposes anyway. This isn’t a licence to be disobedient (Jude 4) but rather an encouragement to know we cannot derail God’s plans.