Summary: Mark shows us the important of Prayer - God Time I. Prayer is First and Foremost "God Time" "God Talk" II. Prayer Will Lead Us to New Opportunities
Scripture: Mark 1:29-39
Theme: God Time
Mark shows us the important of Prayer - God Time
I. Prayer is First and Foremost "God Time"
II. Prayer Will Lead Us to New Opportunities
Grace and peace from God our Father and from His Son Jesus Christ who came to take away the sin of the world.
Let's get right into our passage this morning! It is one that could be labeled a collection passage. That is to say in a matter of eleven verses Mark gathers together five different episodes.
+In verses 29-31 we read about Jesus healing Peter's Mother in Law from a life threatening fever.
+In verses 32 - 34 we read about a number of additional healings and exorcisms that took place just outside Peter's house after sundown when the Sabbath was over.
+In verses 35 we read about Jesus' going off to a desolate place for a needed time of prayer and fellowship with His Heavenly Father.
+In verses 36 - 38 we read about Peter's leading a mass manhunt for Jesus.
+And in verse 39 we read about Jesus coming back and launching a Galilean wide ministry, preaching and casting out demons wherever he went.
Mark's writing style is very much like a person stringing together a pearl necklace. He wants to share with his readers these wonderful and deep truths but he does so in rapid fire snippets rather than in drawn out narratives like John or Luke. You get the idea that Mark wants to share as much as he can with as few words as he can. With Mark, everything is immediate. With Mark, everything is driven. With Mark everything he wants to share about Jesus and the Gospel involves quick actions and reactions.
But that is not to say that Mark does not share with us some big picture items as well. For example, throughout this whole passage he wants us to understand that Jesus' fame was growing exponentially. Immediately following the story of Jesus in the synagogue, Mark tells us in verse 28:
"And at once his fame spread everywhere throughout the surrounding region of Galilee."
And then in verses 33 and 37, Mark is careful to point out:
"And the whole city was gathered together at the door."
"Everyone is looking for you."
Also, Mark wants us to see a certain rhythm happening in Jesus' life. Mark wants us to see a definitive public-private rhythm in Jesus' life.
+Jesus' baptism is highly public but then Jesus goes into the desolate wilderness for a time of solitude, prayer, mediation and testing for a 40 day period.
+Jesus openly and publicly begins His ministry by proclaiming - "The time is fulfilled, and the Kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the Gospel" but then without a lot of fanfare Jesus privately calls His first disciples along the sea shore.
+Jesus publicly preaches in the synagogue but then privately goes to Peter's home for a time of simple fellowship, a meal and rest.
+Jesus publicly heals and exorcizes many demons and then He goes off to spend some needed time alone with His Heavenly Father.
It is one of the those private times I would like for us to look at this morning. In particular, the one we find in verse 35 which seems to me to be the hinge to this whole passage. Jesus heals, eats and rests, heals some more, spends time with His Heavenly Father, converses with Peter and then leads his disciples to launch a ministry campaign around the Galilean territory.
It is his quiet time with His Heavenly Father that I would like for us to focus on this morning. It's the time that Jesus spent in quiet solitude and prayer. It's the time that some people have labeled - "God Time".
"God time" - those words even sound good don't they? So many times when we speak of Prayer Time we think of such words and ideas as duty, habit, laborious, sin, guilt, tedious, demanding and a host of other words with many of them having negative connotations.
The truth is for many people, Prayer has morphed into being a Thing rather than a being a part of a growing Relationship. Prayer is seen more as an exercise in being able to say certain words the right way. Many see prayer as something that is abstract, an exercise to be conquered, an encounter that we know we need to experience but one which we really rather avoid. We know it is something that we need to do but it is also something that we are not sure does much good.
And if you have been in the Church for any length of time you know that we know more about prayer than we practice prayer. For most of us prayer is not our strong suit. We are more about action than we are contemplation, centering and intercession. We pray at times like we are checking off some list - we say these words, we ask for these things and then we go about the rest of our day only to return the next morning and do the same things. We don't know if it does any good or not, all we know is that we have been told to pray and so we pray.