Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Jesus got up and went out to an isolated place to pray

Mark 1:29-35 NLT  
  29 After Jesus left the synagogue with James and John, they went to Simon and Andrew’s home.
Mark 1:30 Now Simon’s mother-in-law was sick in bed with a high fever. They told Jesus about her right away. 31 So he went to her bedside, took her by the hand, and helped her sit up. Then the fever left her, and she prepared a meal for them. 
  32 That evening after sunset, many sick and demon-possessed people were brought to Jesus. 33 The whole town gathered at the door to watch. 34 So Jesus healed many people who were sick with various diseases, and he cast out many demons. But because the demons knew who he was, he did not allow them to speak. 35  Before daybreak the next morning, Jesus got up and went out to an isolated place to pray. 

Jesus was on a mission. There were few spare moments in his days. He was going about His Father's Business and there was nothing more important to him.  What was His father's business? Reconciling fallen and lost humanity to God. Problem was, most of humanity didn't want to believe it was lost nor did it want to surrender the self-will necessary to be reconciled. Mark gives us this condensed version of Jesus' ministry hopping from encounter to encounter and painting the busy picture of our busy redeemer. One can well imagine that at the end of his days this man of God was pretty spent. But you rarely saw him show the tell-tale signs of fatigue. He was always giving. Having just delivered a man from demons, he heals Peters mother in law. Having done that, more people came whom he healed and/or delivered from yet more demons. Jesus' who cared about individuals and wanted not to make a show of any person had to endure the 'whole town' looking on, in lack of faith most usually. Powerful demonic forces that had over powered their human captives were no match for him, but they came one after another, after another, after another.

Mark didn't describe how tired Jesus must have been that evening at Peter's house but he did reveal an even more important fact. Verse 35 points out that, in spite of how little sleep Jesus was permitted to get, yet he got up early to go out and be alone with God the Father "in an isolated place." Why? because that was the only time Jesus' days were not jam-packed with needy people seeking him for a myriad of reasons and needs. Even Jesus had to be refreshed, refilled, and restored. Giving out God's power endlessly requires a time when we can be alone with and focus upon God Himself, just for Himself, and for ourselves. Tasks and needs become secondary to our need for communing with God. And most of us neglect that when we don't have to.

Can we forsake an hour of sleep in order to become refilled with the presence of God Himself and be refocused upon God's purposes instead of our own or those of the people who surround us?
Your servant in Christ's love

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