Bible Reading Blog — January 9, 2016

9 Jan

Today’s Readings — BREAK & Mark 1:35-39

Today there is no Old Testament reading. These break days are worked into every month three or four times just to give you a time to relax or maybe make up some readings you’ve missed. If you are doing the reading plan I hope you will find these days are helpful. Now on to today’s reading from Mark.

Context is king. Jesus’ actions and words in Mark 1:35-39 take on a much greater meaning when they are put in the context of Mark 1:29-34. We saw there the healing of Peter’s mother-in-law. We also see Jesus in demand as a healer, healing all kinds of people at sunset as they were pushing against the door of the house, clamoring to be healed.

Interestingly, in today’s passage, we see the intentionality of Jesus, the way He lived with purpose. Early on the next morning (the Greek text lays up words to emphasize how early it was) Jesus went out to a desolate place and prayed. Jesus’ devotion to prayer becomes all the more impactful as we consider the previous passage. He had just been up late the previous day healing people and had been endlessly busy. But rather than sleeping in, Jesus went to His Father in prayer. He got away from the crowds so as not to be influenced by their voice and listened instead to the voice of His Father. Jesus’ sense of dependence on His Father is made clear here.

In addition, when the disciples find Him, they tell Him that all the people are seeking Him. Of course, they are seeking Him for healing again. But Jesus gives His disciples a new direction. “Let’s go out into the surrounding towns and preach there, for this is the reason I came.” In other words, Jesus came to proclaim the message of the kingdom, not merely provide for physical needs. Jesus’ provision of physical needs was intended to be a sign of His bringing the kingdom and spiritual salvation to all who believe. This call to preach is made all the more powerful in light of the many healing acts Jesus had just performed in the previous passage. Context is king. This is one of the greatest reasons for reading through books of the Bible rather than hopping from one passage to another.

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