Summary: It is easier to be all things to all people by turning to God for help and strength in a solitary place of prayer. It’s all about attitude.
All Things To All People – Mark 1: 29 - 39
Intro: In 1975 when I assumed my duties as the Pastor of a church in Indiana, I was delighted to see brand new Bibles placed in each pew. When I opened one to see what version it was, I was dumbfounded by what I saw. In large, red letters these words were stamped inside the front cover, “NOT TO BE TAKEN FROM THE CHURCH.” Here was the word of God, “not to be taken from the church.”
I. Unfortunately, that is the attitude many people have today regarding “church.” --- It is fine as long as it doesn’t interfere with my life or my home.
A. Read Verse 29 “As soon as they left the synagogue, they went with James and John to the home of Simon and Andrew.”
B. All too often people leave the truth and power of God’s word in the sanctuary - “NOT TO BE TAKEN FROM THE CHURCH” attitude.
C. What God expects of us is to hear His word and then carry the truth proclaimed into our lives, into our homes. Read Verse 30 & 31 – “Simon’s mother-in-law was in bed with a fever, and they told Jesus about her. So he went to her, took her hand and helped her up. The fever left her and she began to wait on them.”
II. Jesus could have very easily said, “look guys, I’ve had a hard day. She’ll get better on her own. I’m tired!”
A. Surely Jesus was exhausted. In the verses that precede those of today’s lesson, we see Jesus expending a great deal of energy. He is preaching, driving out evil spirits and healing many.
B. Read Verse 32 & 34 – “That evening after sunset the people brought to Jesus all the sick and demon-possessed. The whole town gathered at the door, and Jesus healed many who had various diseases. He also drove out many demons. . .”
C. In today’s complex world, Pastors are not the only people of whom much is expected. --- Rod had been anticipating retirement since the day he turned 60. --- I saw him about six months after he had retired and when I asked him how he was enjoying his leisure time, his answer was, “What leisure time. I’m busier now than ever.”
III. Maybe you are like Jesus and Rod. Both were exhausted by the demands placed upon them. But there was a great difference between the two.
A. Read Verse 35 – “Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.”
B. In I Corinthian 9:16-23, the other lesson for today, we see Paul doing the very same thing we try to do. He says, “I have become all things to all people. . .” --- We try to do it all. The problem is that we do not do very well at anything when we try to do it all on our own.
C. Paul and Jesus both found to answer the demands of the day, it was necessary to go to a solitary place and pray. Spend time with God asking for God to help carry the burdens of the day.
Conclu: After hearing her pastor speak on this passage, the young lady said to him as she was leaving the church, “Jesus said enter into a closet and close the door. In my apartment there are no doors and no closets. Now what do I do? --- The solitary place isn’t a location; it is an attitude. We must be deliberate about handing some of our burdens to God by sharing them with Him in prayer. If you want to be all things to all people, you must live with a prayerful attitude relying on the presence of God.