01 February 2010

Jesus Prays

In the morning, while it was still very dark, he got up and went out to a deserted place, and there he prayed. And Simon and his companions hunted for him. When they found him, they said to him, “Everyone is searching for you.” He answered, “Let us go on to the neighboring towns, so that I may proclaim the message there also; for that is what I came out to do.” And he went throughout Galilee, proclaiming the message in their synagogues and casting out demons.
Mark 1:35-39

Brief observations:
  • Jesus was resting from what was sure to be a long evening.  He healed many from the whole city of Capernaum.  If it were me, I would have given myself a huge pat on the back for a job well done and would have instructed my disciples not to wake me up as I deserved a full night's rest.  Then again, I'm not Jesus.  What did he do?  He woke up before dawn and found a quiet spot outside of the house and prayed.  Apparently rest wasn't a primary concern for Jesus, talking with His Father was.
  • Prayer is communicating with our Father.  Communicating is not just talking to God and we seemed to be well-trained in doing that, but more importantly it is listening to God as well.  How?  He has spoken to us through His Word and His Son and continues to speak to us through His Spirit.  This triune of revelation is all we need to have an intimate relationship with our Heavenly Father.  I suppose that is what part of this blog is about, learning how to discern my Master's voice from all the others.
  • What does the only begotten Son of the Heavenly Father pray about?  We're not told here.  One thing is for sure, He liked to spend time with His Father.  I do believe we are given a clue about part of His prayer by His remarkable response to His disciples.  He prayed for direction as to how to serve today.
  • We can imagine the scene back at Peter's house.  Jesus healed many, but not everyone.  Some didn't get a whole lot of sleep that night.  They were excited.  They had seen long-time friends who ached with various diseases and maladies suddenly healed and the person who healed them is Jesus.  And he's staying at Simon and Andrew's house!  So, probably as soon as sunrise hit, they excitedly knocked on the door.  "I was wondering if the rabbi is willing to heal me this morning."  Maybe a little irritated but understanding, Simon's family goes to where Jesus was sleeping to see if He was awake.  Well, he's awake, but nobody seems to know where He is.  More and more people gather at the doorstep as the disciples look for their rabbi.  They finally find Him and inform Him of the situation, "Everyone is searching for you."  His answer?  "Let us go to the neighbouring towns..."  Wow.  He essentially leaves the needy of Capernaum at Simon and Andrew's doorstep and decides to go to other towns.  What gave him the confidence to make such a ministerial move in the face of sure disappointment?  The directions of His Father received through prayer.  After all Jesus wasn't there just for Capernaum, but for everyone who would believe wherever they are.
  • Jesus again gives his 'mission statement', "so that I may proclaim the message there also; for that is what I came to do."  Came to do?  In order to come, one must have come from somewhere else...
  • Jesus did not come primarily to heal diseases.  He did heal because of His compassion and his longing for people to trust and believe in Him.  But, He was more concerned with proclaiming the message.  What message?  "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near."  And so that is what He would do throughout the entire region of Galilee.

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