Summary: Jesus always put His service and ministry above Himself.
January 31, 2018
Reading: Mark 1:29-39
The Servant Jesus
As we read on in the Book of Mark about this intriguing ministry of our Lord, we begin to learn the true meaning of a humble minister. Jesus has just left the synagogue having taught with the authority of God.
He has gained the awe and amazement of many, who were present at this teaching and as He confronted and commanded the departure of a demon spirit.
As we travel on with Jesus to the home of Simon Peter and his wife, we read on of his great mercy and ministry. Peter’s mother-in-law was very sick and running a high fever. It must have been an uncomfortable position for the family to try and host such a guest with all of that going on. As soon as they mentioned to Jesus that the mother-in-law was sick, HE immediately went to the bedside, took her by the hand, lifted her up and the fever immediately left her. v31
Can you just imagine? She was made completely well! So much so that she began to serve them. From the sick bed to serving a house full of guests. I don’t know about you but to me that is a miracle in and of itself.
After the evening meal and after the sun had set, people began to gather at Peter’s house to be ministered to by Jesus. Remember that healing on the Sabbath was contrary under Jewish law. So, it was after the sun had gone down that the crowds came to be ministered to. The sick came in droves and also the demon possessed. Great excitement among the people that there was now hope and promise for healings at the hands of Jesus. Did you pick up on Mark’s distinction between being sick with various diseases and being demon possessed? Not all sickness is the work of demon possession, any more than sickness being a form of punishment for the commission of some sin. We all get sick from time to time be we righteous and devout or be we sinful.
Jesus ministered to the throngs deep into the night, Jesus must have been exhausted. Most preachers that I know are exhausted from leading a regular Sunday service. It takes a lot out of the preacher that puts all of himself into the delivery of a sermon/message. So, Jesus arose very early in the morning and sought out a quiet and private place to be alone with God the Father and to pray.
When Peter got up, he was concerned that Jesus was nowhere around. He and the others struck out to find Jesus. When they did, they began telling Him that everyone was gathering again and wanting to see Him. But and this is an important part of the message, Jesus explained to them that He came to preach in and minister in the synagogues throughout Galilee and so He would be moving on.
What shall we garner from this reading for application in our own lives?
A few points:
1. Healing Peter’s mother-in-law. Here is Jesus the guest of honor serving the neediest in the household where He was to be honored. Can you not think of a scenario where this might apply? As a guest in the home of a family, children are usually excited and seeking a little attention for themselves. Rather than wait for the host to shoo them to another room, why not stop and even sit on the floor at their level and give them a little of that attention for a few minutes? I remember after a lawn wedding where I presided, the reception was held in the home of the bride. The excited mom dropped a large bowl of potato salad which meant broken china and mess all over the kitchen floor. I jumped at the chance to clean it up for her as she continued getting everything set up. Now understand that doing so was as much for me to “do something” rather than just sit in a chair, like a bump on a log. But it did bless that little family.
2. Even as a guest, there was ministry to be done and Jesus was there to do just that. As the crowds gathered, He went about laying hands on the sick and casting out demons. He could just as easily say, “Bless you brothers and sisters!” - Come back in the morning during regular church hours and we’ll minister to you. What if you received a call at the end of your day and a friend or even an acquaintance cries out, “I need to talk to someone. Can you meet me somewhere or may I come by for a few minutes? You are tired and not feeling too chipper. But, here God is giving you an opportunity for real ministry. What? You don’t feel qualified? Just to listen? Just to offer a shoulder to cry on?