Summary: A sermon using Mark’s account of one day in Jesus’ life. Leans on Sermon CEntral resources - but has sufficient new insights to contribute. Preached well!

Lately on the Television and radio there has been the typical commercials for singers trying to sell their CD’s and tapes.Among them is an advertisement for the Jamie Kennedy rendition of the song – “What a difference a day makes.”The line got me to thinking and I got thinking about the life of Jesus – about the day he was born and the difference that day made to the world and also the day he died and the permanent impact that that day made on all of humanity.Then I remembered some years ago hearing about an ordinary day in the life of Jesus as recorded in scripture and the impact that day made.

This day was a business as usual type day for Jesus. I ahstened to find it because I was asking the question – What can we learn and what can we do thaty would enable us to have aspects of this day in our own lives?Then I stumbled across a typical day in the ministry life of Jesus Christ.In the scriptures we read words of Jesus that would suggest our lives should have some common threads to His life.For example Jesus says “Pick up your cross and follow me.”Twenty times in the gospels, the hearer or reader, encounters Jesus using the words follow me – usually in the context of emulating Him:-

MK 8:34 Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 35 For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it. 36 What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul? 37 Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul? 38 If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels.”

If that is the case. I thought, there are valuable lessons to be learned for our own lives in considering how Jesus spends a typical day.

It is a popular literary style today to trace through the events of one day in the life of a person. Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn has given us a remarkable book in One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich-Book Report Setting This book explains a single day in Ivan Denisovichs live in a Siberian prison camp. The story is taking place during Joseph Stalin’s Red Terror program between 1945 and 1953. But I think this specific day is in no case different from any other ones of his possible 25 year prison term. Major Characters Ivan Denisovich Shukhov: The main character of the story, Ivan Denisovich is in the eighth year of a ten-year prison term. Imprisoned unjustly during WWII for treason, he has learned over the years not to be bitter, but live every day for itself. He is the consummate prisoner, with the know-how and optimistic attitude to get through the tortuous days. The story follows one day of his life in a Siberian labor camp, from the moment he wakes up to the moment he goes to bed.

What about, then one day in the life of Jesus Christ.

Unlike Ivan denisovich Jesus is not in prison. But there are comparisons.

As the sinless son of God Jesus is living in an alien world – a world created and sustained by His Father, yet, none the less, very different from the character of heaven – spoiled as it was by the mark of sin upon it.

In that sense it is similar to the Siberea prison that Denisovich finds himself in – part of the USSR yet strangely different – It is under the same authority but it’s citizens are deprived of freedom and liberites that the normal citizens do not have.

Jesus is living in this strange – halfway world and it is in the midst of this world that our passage finds him.

It begins in the bright sunshine of a Galilean morning when Jesus walks out alongside the lake, moves into a mid-morning visit to a synagogue in Capernaum (for this was a Sabbath day), takes in an afternoon visit some hours later at the home of Peter and Andrew, and traces the events of a busy evening in that city, as thousands gathered to be ministered to by Jesus. The account concludes with a solitary prayer vigil in the hills during the lonely hours of the early morning. Thus a full twenty-four hours is given to us in this account—put together from the memories Mark had of Jesus and the stories Peter had told him. (Ray Stedman.Sermon Central.)

And passing along by the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew the brother of Simon casting a net in the sea; for they were fishermen. And Jesus said to them, “Follow me and I will make you become fishers of men.” And immediately they left their nets and followed him. And going on a little farther, he saw James the son of Zebedee and John his brother, who were in their boat mending the nets. And immediately he called them; and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired servants, and followed him. {Mark 1:16-20 RSV}

In this first part of the particular day that Jesus spent on planet earth there are two things that I would like to draw to your attention.

The first thing may seem to be a little strange to you at first for it is the three introductory words:-

And passing by:-The thing you notice in Jesus’ life is that nothing is by coincidence. If Jesus is passing by he is interested in what is happening around him. He took a God’s eye view of what is happening around him.

By being there He is involved. I don’t think Jesus would make a great tourist – I think his holiday would turn into something quite different – a revival meeting or something similar.

On this occasion while passing by Jesus spots some future disciples. Jesus never is obvilious to what is happening around him – in the account of the good Samaritan he has strong words about the people who passby the man lying on the roadside. These men were fishers of fish. They were simple Galilean fishermen, rough, somewhat ignorant, untutored, unlearned, elementary men, governed by Jewish passions and prejudices, narrow in their outlook. Before they could become fishers of men, they would have to become universal in their view. They would have to learn how to walk in a way that relied upon the power of the Spirit of God. And Jesus assumes the responsibility to do this.

So Jesus is not only interested in what he is passing by he takes responsibility – he doesn’t think:- “Well I should do something about these men some day.” He calls them to himself and because he knows God’s voice and His authority they do the unthinkable. They leave their job security and follow Jesus.

We can apply these same principles to our own lives.

Be alert to what we are passing by – be alert to the call of God – hear it obey it using his authority and amazing things will happen. But you know Jesus takes responsibility for these men for their provision – for training them and leading them so that they may fulfill the purpose of God with their lives.

Jesus and His brand new group of disciples, Peter, Andrew, James, and John, then, move along:-

And they went into Capernaum and immediately on the sabbath he entered the synagogue and taught. And they were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as one who had authority, and not as the scribes. {Mark 1:21-22 RSV}

(I am not certain that this is the same day although one person certainly teaches that it is. Be that as it may it is in immediate progression with the call of the disciples – )

Jesus here remembers the importance of God’s commands by obeying the sabbath and he, even though in a strange town, turns up at our equivilent of church.

synagogue. A very important religious institution among the Jews of that day. Originating during the exile, it provided a place where Jews could study the Scriptures and worship God. A synagogue could be established in any town where there were at least ten married Jewish men. began to teach. Jesus, like Paul (see Ac 13:15; 14:1; 17:2; 18:4), took advantage of the custom that allowed visiting teachers to participate in the worship service by invitation of the synagogue leaders.

Jesus begins to teach but his teaching was different to their ordinary diet of teaching – so different was it that these people used to hearing the word of God were amazed at what they heard.

. Mark frequently reported the amazement that Jesus’ teaching and actions produced (see 2:12; 5:20, 42; 6:2, 51; 7:37; 10:26; 11:18; see also 15:5). In these instances it was Christ’s inherent authority that amazed. He did not quote human authorities, as did the teachers of the law, because his authority was directly from God. teachers of the law.

There is power in the word of God that is tremendously life changing for people.

HEB 4:12 For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

So much theology today is simply the opinion of a man or a woman. When you dance in an old style way then one of the partners has to lead. Well when you are sharing the word of God then the word needs to lead – that is what Jesus does and the word penetrates and touches peoples lives and those lives are changed.

People are amazed – that is what happens when the word of God is opened.

The only place that Jesus couldn’t really do this fully was His own home town because there people had preconcieved ideas about Him.

MK 6:1 Jesus left there and went to his hometown, accompanied by his disciples. 2 When the Sabbath came, he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were amazed.

"Where did this man get these things?" they asked. "What’s this wisdom that has been given him, that he even does miracles! 3 Isn’t this the carpenter? Isn’t this Mary’s son and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas and Simon? Aren’t his sisters here with us?" And they took offense at him.

The lesson we learn here is to use the scriptures during our days whereever we might find ourselves – that is what Jesus did whenever he had the opportunity.

named J. T. Fisher:

If you were to take the sum total of all authoritative articles ever written by the most qualified of psychologists and psychiatrists on the subject of mental hygiene, if you were to combine them and refine them and cleave out the excess verbiage, if you were to take the whole of the meat and none of the parsley, and if you were to have these unadulterated bits of pure scientific knowledge concisely expressed by the most capable of living poets, you would have an awkward and an incomplete summary of the Sermon on the Mount. And it would suffer immeasurably through comparison. For nearly two thousand years the Christian world has been holding in its hands the complete answer to its restless and fruitless yearning. Here rests the blueprint for successful human life, with optimum mental health and contentment.

When you share the word of God anything can happen and on this occasion it certainly did.

The next lesson from Jesus’ life is when you do God’s will expect the unexpected.

And immediately there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit; and he cried out, “What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are, the Holy One of God. “ But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be silent, and come out of him!” And the unclean spirit, convulsing him and crying with a loud voice, came out of him. And they were all amazed, so that they questioned among themselves, saying, “What is this? A new teaching! With authority he commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey him.” And at once his fame spread everywhere throughout all the surrounding region of Galilee. {Mark 1:23-28 RSV}

Jesus, by sharing the word of God – upsets the unclean spirit in the man – idarkness and holiness can not live together.

If Jesus words had amazed the people in the synagogue, his deeds left them thunderstruck. In the synagogue there was a man in the grip of an unclean spirit. He created a disturbance and Jesus healed him.

This is not a sermon on evil Spirits but can I say that people often make twin and opposing errors in relation to evil and evil spirits.

One error is to ignore their presence altogether and the other is to put too much emphasis on them.

As Christians we should do what Jesus did.

Know our authority – God is greater than anything we are going to encounter. And use our authority

Quite simply that is what Jesus does.

It astounds the people who are watching.

, so that they questioned among themselves, saying, “What is this? A new teaching! With authority he commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey him.” And at once his fame spread everywhere throughout all the surrounding region of Galilee.

The result of all this was instant free publicity – perhaps unwanted but we read - And at once his fame spread everywhere throughout all the surrounding region of Galilee.

By now we can see it has been quite a full day and Jesus has been walking with God and having wonderful experiences – but it is nowhere yet finished yet –

MK 1:29 As soon as they left the synagogue, they went with James and John to the home of Simon and Andrew. 30 Simon’s mother-in-law was in bed with a fever, and they told Jesus about her. 31 So he went to her, took her hand and helped her up. The fever left her and she began to wait on them.

Jesus could have ignored the sick woman and, being exhausted from his day gone and had a good Jewish sabbath rest.

Instead he

Jesus here displays incredible compassion – humility – there is no crowd watching now – no headlines in the local Christian Newspaper – just relief for a suffering woman – he displays authority with compassion and soon the woman is healed and well.

So many people today tell me that they are too busy for this or that – are we too busy to care for the important things God puts before us every day???

One comentater calls this a private miracle – and it is – except that Mark was there and he told the world - eventually.

Jesus takes time for some refreshment we read:-

. The fever left her and she began to wait on them.

No sooner was Peter’s Mother in law better than she began to attend to their needs.

She used her recovered health for renewed service. A great scottish fmily has the motto “Saved to serve.”

Jesus helps us so that we in turn may help others – not be God’s frozen chosen.

The next thing we learn from Jesus day was that it didn’t stop right there we read on:-

MK 1:32 That evening after sunset the people brought to Jesus all the sick and demon-possessed. 33 The whole town gathered at the door, 34 and Jesus healed many who had various diseases. He also drove out many demons, but he would not let the demons speak because they knew who he was.

As his reputation spread like wild fire the sick – the oppressed and suffering beat a path to the door of the Messiah. They came to get relief from their suffering some for many years had sufferred and now they received from God’s son.

Three times Jesus is seen healing people

First in the synagogue second in his friends house and third out in the street. The lesson we learn here is Jesus gives all he has for all the pain he sees.

Is this the end of this seemingly everlasting day???

Seeming;ly not – we read on:-

MK 1:35 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. 36 Simon and his companions went to look for him, 37 and when they found him, they exclaimed: "Everyone is looking for you!"

Technically it may have been the next day but we find here the secret of Jesus’ love and compassion – He gives all he has to others and then, he goes and receives from the Father in a solitary place.

During this day Jesus has:

Been an agent of total change of direction for four obscure fishermen who will never be the same again –

Transformed the religious lives of the people in the Capernaum synagogue with teaching like they had never heard before.

Carried out a dramatic spiritual deliverance in the local synagogue and set a man completely free.

Healed his friends Mother in law from a debilitating sickness.

In an impromptu street meeting he healed many who had various diseases. He also drove out many demons, the lives of these people would now be totally transformed.

Spent time alone in prayer and reflection.

As the song says What a difference a day makes –

When we put these same principles to practice in our own lives –

When we, like Jesus :-

Take a God’s eye view of what is happening around us.

Take appropriate responsibility –

Are prepared to use the word of God in a way that is tremendously life changing for people.

Know our authority and use it appropriately.

Have compassion on our friends and their families.

Have compassion on strangers on the sick and suffering.

Take time to be alone with our God.

Then we will be able to say.

What a difference a day makes.