January 9 – Chronological Life of Jesus Day 7
We’ve now completed one week following the Life of Jesus and obeying his call for his disciples to “Follow Me!” How is your daily time with God going? From struggles to awesome God moments, please share in the Comments section below this post on our website, and we can lift each other up in prayer. Today, we are starting Mark’s gospel. His account begins when Jesus’ ministry begins. Mark was a missionary under the tutelage of the apostle Peter (or Simon as he’s called in today’s reading). His account is likely a second-hand account from Peter, which is probably why it doesn’t start until Peter meets Jesus.
READ: Mark 1
After Jesus’ baptism, Mark 1:12-13 says, “At once the Spirit sent him out into the desert, and he was in the desert forty days, being tempted by Satan. He was with the wild animals, and angels attended him.” Jesus is the Son of God, and Satan dared to try and trip him up? Yep. It goes along with being human; everyone is fair game for Satan. As a human, Jesus went through the same struggles that we do, including temptation, but unlike us, he never gave into it. More is written about how Jesus was tempted by Satan in Matthew 4 and Luke 4, which we’ll get to next week.
Nearly the same account of Jesus calling his first disciples is in Matthew 4:18-22, Mark 1:14-20, and Luke 5:1-11, but John 1:35-42’s version that we read last Friday is a bit different (January 2 – Chronological Life of Jesus Day 2). Do you think the differences in these accounts contradict one another or complement one another?
Jesus’ first miracle occurred three days after his baptism by John the Baptist and is recorded in John 2 which we’ll get to next week. Chronologically, all of the events recorded in John 2 through 4 occurred prior to the miracles we are reading about today in Mark 1:21-45. So Jesus has been preaching and teaching all over the countryside prior to what we’re reading today, just not a lot of miracles. I see a theme occurring in the miracles recorded in Mark 1. Jesus did not want the demons he drove out or the people he healed to talk about these miracles (Mark 1:25, 34, 44). Why do you think that is? What’s the point of amazing awesome wonders being performed if you can’t tell anyone about it? But that didn’t stop people from talking about Jesus’ miracles. The result—sick people banging down Simon’s Mother-in-Law’s door and Jesus being mobbed when he entered a town. The crowd-think seemed to see the miracles as what they could get out of it rather than acknowledging and glorifying God and His Son who were at the center of it all. They were following Jesus for the wrong reason.
I love the example in what Jesus does in the midst of the craziness. From Mark 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.” I’ve heard a rumor that moms do this occasionally, finding a bathroom with a locking door, and they get the same reaction that Jesus got: “Simon and his companions went to look for him, and when they found him, they exclaimed, ‘Everyone is looking for you!’” (Mark 1:37) Can you relate? The most awesome thing about Jesus’ alone time in prayer, in deep conversation with God, is that he was re-focused and re-set on his goal. From Mark 1:38: “Jesus replied, ‘Let us go somewhere else—to the nearby villages—so I can preach there also. That is why I have come.’”
You seek me, calling, “Follow Me!” To be Your disciple, I need to follow You. To follow You, I need to re-focus and re-set myself daily spending time with You.
God, I am amazed by the miracles You work every day and how You orchestrate incredible things beyond my understanding. I want to follow You, I want to be a disciple of Your Son Jesus, because You are God. Help me to keep my heart in the center of Your will by re-focusing and re-setting each day in my time with You.