Mark 1:35 Commentary - Mr. D's Notes on Selected New Testament Books by Stanley Derickson35 And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed. 36 And Simon and they that were with him followed after him. 37 And when they had found him, they said unto him, All [men] seek for thee. 38 And he saidunto them, Let us go into the next towns, that I may preach there also: for therefore came I forth. 39 And he preached in their synagogues throughout all Galilee, and cast out devils.
It would seem according to Luke that the crowd was close behind the disciples "...and the multitudes sought after him and came unto him and would have stayed him...."
Both Mark and Luke mention the thought that Christ came to minister to these particular people. Luke uses the term "sent" to describe Christ's compulsion to minister to these.
Matthew adds 4.23 "...preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of disease and all manner of sickness. 24 And his fame went throughout all Syria: and they brought unto him all sick people that were taken with divers diseases and torments, and those which were possessed with devils, and those which were lunatic, and those that had the palsy; and he healed them. 25 And there followed him great multitudes of people from Galilee, and from Decapolis and from Jerusalem, and from Judaea, and from beyond Jordan."
Now before we go too much further let me assure you that I believe that God can perform miraculous things in our day if or when He has a mind to, however I do not believe that the kind of miracles Christ did can occur today. His ministry was to call attention to the fact that He was God and that He was the Messiah come to set up the kingdom. This is why Matthew gives such great emphasis to the miracles here.
There is indication in the book of Acts that Paul did many miraculous things in the early part of his ministry, but it is also clear that he could not do these things in his later ministry. In Act 19:12 we see that he did not even have to be present for the healing to take place. "So that from his body were brought unto the sick handkerchiefs or aprons, and the diseases departed from them, and the evil spirits went out of them." Again in Act 28:8 we see, "And it came to pass that the father of Publius lay sick of a fever and of a bloody flux: to whom Paul entered in, and prayed, and laid his hands on him, and healed him. 9 So when this was done, others also, which had diseases in the island, came, and were healed:"
Yet in later life he could not heal his own thorn in the flesh, he could not heal Timothy, and he could not heal Epaphroditus in Php 2:25 ff "... Epaphroditus, my brother, and companion in labour, and fellowsoldier, but your messenger, and he that ministered to my wants. 26 For he longed after you all, and was full of heaviness, because that ye had heard that he had been sick. 27 For indeed he was sick nigh unto death: but God had mercy on him; and not on him only, but on me also, lest I should have sorrow upon sorrow." Nor could he heal Trophimus, 2Ti 4:20 b "Trophimus have I left at Miletum sick."
Based on this I have more than once requested charismatic healers to come to Salem and go with me to the Salem Hospital to heal everyone. With the power that Christ showed and the gift of healing that Paul had early in ministry we could shut down the wards, we could empty the surgical units, and empty the many other clinics and offices. There would be no need for further health insurance in our country if the Charismatic movement was right about the gift of healing. The medical profession would go extinct within days; however that is not going to happenbecause this sort of healing was for a specific purpose and a specific time - introduction and identification of the Messiah.
Some simple observations about Christ's activities: He rose very early; he went out away from others, into a solitary place and prayed.
There seems to be a commitment to do what He needed to do, there seems to have been a plan as to how He was going to do what He was going to do, and finally He did it.
Oh how committed we are to praying, and oh how organized we are about how we are going to do it, but there often is a failure in the doing. I have found over the years that often are the times that I have committed to praying daily from a list. I specify "from a list" to denote that I often pray during the day, evening, and even at night when I wake up, but those are times of prayer that come to me as I walk through life. But to specify a time, a place and purpose to do so, has often eluded me. There have been times, even long times when this was a part of my life, but often also are the times when chaos ruled and I failed to complete this sort of commitment.
This may be true of many of us, but the point is that amid all the chaos of Christ's life, He made it a point to pray. This should also be our goal in life. Just as a suggestion, if you have this lack of time, commitment or purpose, try different times of the day. Try different places, and you will probably find a situation that works for you. While teaching I found myself in total melt down time wise. There were times when sleep was optional, and others when eating was optional, but during that time I purposed to rise way before everyone else to spend time reading a devotional reading the word and praying. It was a terribly hard time to keep at it when I could barely stay awake, but during those times I found standing worked well.
Prayer is our communication with our Father and we need it. We need to focus in on a regular specific basis as well as all those other times when our mind is free and we can spend a moment or two with Him in prayer.
We might note that even though Christ was up very early, that He was still at times interrupted.
It was also interesting that all three Gospels mentioned that Christ was doing his ministry inside the synagogues. He was taking the message right to the ones that had need - the spiritual of the nation of Israel.
Pastor might you want to take note. Christ ministered to the spiritual in the meeting place of believers, ought you EVER do less? Churches are full of believers, with a mix of non-believers so why do so many pastors minister to the minority of those present. The church is for edification, not evangelism. We have sorely lost our purpose and direction today in the American church. We have left the building up of the saints for trying to get lost entertained people saved. If the Spirit of God cannot bring these people to God, how in the world can we ever bring them to Him with films, games, singing, and other tricks of the current trade?
Recently a friend that was trying to get an adult ministry started in his church had arranged foroff campus facilities and offered to do the teaching. The pastoral staff insisted that they did not have the facilities and that he should wait until the pastoral staff was able to get their new 1.5 million dollar facility built. The man asked how long that might be. He was told probably around two years. He replied, oh I understand you are putting off edification for the building of the edifice. They had substituted edificeication for edification.
Priorities are so terribly askew these days in so many churches.
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Mr. D's Notes on Selected New Testament Books by Stanley Derickson
Rev. Stanley L. Derickson Ph.D. Copyright 2006
Used by Permission.