Looking to Jesus
Father in Heaven, help us speak your message of Good News and make our lives a witness of your great love in Jesus name. Amen.
Please turn in your Bible to Mark’s Gospel.
Mark tells us that Jesus has been choosing his disciples the ones who will carry on his message and plant churches after he is gone. There is Peter and his brother Andrew, and the sons of Zebedee John and James. And prior to spending the night at Peter’s mother in-law’s house Jesus has cast an evil spirit out of a man and healed many others.
Mark 1:32-39 (NLT)
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.
Jesus Preaches in Galilee
35 Before daybreak the next morning, Jesus got up and went out to an isolated place to pray. 36 Later Simon and the others went out to find him. 37 When they found him, they said, “Everyone is looking for you.”
38 But Jesus replied, “We must go on to other towns as well, and I will preach to them, too. That is why I came.” 39 So he traveled throughout the region of Galilee, preaching in the synagogues and casting out demons.
SEEKING GOD IN PRAYER…
Do you ever feel overwhelmed? Do you ever feel that because of the many distractions of life you are not getting done what God would have you do? If this is true for you then I believe Jesus has the answer if we will look to him.
Jesus must have been feeling overwhelmed from the events of the previous evening because as Mark 1:35 points out Jesus got up very early and left the house where he had spent the night.
When Peter and the others found Jesus…Mark 1:37, 38…he claims that his mission is to preach; however, what exactly did he preach?
Jesus preached a message of repentance for the forgiveness of sin. By the power of the Holy Spirit he preached good news! Furthermore, he says to see the kingdom of God everyone must be “born again.”
Prayer is the driving power in everything Jesus does. When he became overwhelmed in meeting the physical needs of everybody he prays. He prays to remain in the will of God…to seek and save the lost through the power of his Word. And when Jesus’ message to the poor, the prisoners, the blind, and oppressed gets a little cloudy he prays.
Is your life cloudy? Is there an answer you need in life? Look to Jesus; reach out to him in prayer.
It is now the day after Jesus healed many sick and demon possessed. And he has moved on from Peter’s mother in-law’s place.
Mark 1:40-45 (NLT)
Jesus Heals a Man with Leprosy
40 A man with leprosy came and knelt in front of Jesus, begging to be healed. “If you are willing, you can heal me and make me clean,” he said.
41 Moved with compassion, Jesus reached out and touched him. “I am willing,” he said. “Be healed!” 42 Instantly the leprosy disappeared, and the man was healed. 43 Then Jesus sent him on his way with a stern warning: 44 “Don’t tell anyone about this. Instead, go to the priest and let him examine you. Take along the offering required in the law of Moses for those who have been healed of leprosy. This will be a public testimony that you have been cleansed.”
45 But the man went and spread the word, proclaiming to everyone what had happened. As a result, large crowds soon surrounded Jesus, and he couldn’t publicly enter a town anywhere. He had to stay out in the secluded places, but people from everywhere kept coming to him.
MINISTERING AND PREACHING THE GOSPEL TO THE LEAST OF THESE
Jesus must have wondered to himself, “How am I ever going to get done what God’s will is for my life with all these people coming to me with physical problems?”
The Standard lesson commentary explains:
The man with leprosy in Mark’s Gospel knew that in Jesus he would find acceptance and the means to a better life. He was undoubtedly focused on the physical rather than the spiritual. Like Jesus sometimes the church has to show acceptance and a means to a better life before preaching to them. The ways in which Christianity has reached out to those at the very bottom of India’s caste system is a modern example. These are the achuta—the “untouchables” who prefer to be known as the Dalits—the “broken and crushed ones.”
Today, millions of Dalits have turned to Christianity, finding in Christ their true value as human beings. This is a value they never found either in Indian society in general or in the Hindu religion in particular. The founder of the Gospel for Asia mission, K. P. Yohannan, observes that “You see a long, drawn-out, so-called awakening among the 250 million untouchables…. They see that unless you give up this caste system, there is no hope.”
As we follow Jesus’ example of caring for the physical needs let us not forget Christ’ ultimate mission of preaching good news.
“So faith comes from hearing, that is, hearing the Good News about Christ (Romans 10:17).
Father, put our hands to praying, our feet to walking, and our mouths to speaking so that every tribe, tongue, and nation hears the Word of eternal life. In Jesus Name. Amen.