Highlights In Today's Reading:
Although Jesus is presented as a Servant of God, His Divinity is clearly beyond all doubt (1:1). My messenger, John the Baptist (1:2), baptizes Jesus (1: 9-11). Satan shows up (vss 12-13)! Look who Jesus picks as disciples (1:16-20; 2:13-14; 3:13-21). Then as now, those, even the most miserable outcasts, who receive a personal touch from Jesus are healed (1:21 — 2:12; 3:1-12). His healing ministry is outlined in 2:1-12 as we see the helpless, the helpers, the hinderers, and the Healer. Jesus shows the 'doubters' that He is Lord of the Sabbath (2:23-28). Don't miss the definition of "The Family of God" (3:31-35).
The Gospel of Mark depicts in glowing words the untiring activity of Jesus: All the city was gathered together at the door. And He healed many that were sick. . . . And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed (1:33-35). Jesus . . . went about doing good (Acts 10:38) among men, removing their sorrows and imparting new hope into their burdened hearts. We also observe the private life of Jesus in solitary communion with His Father, lifting up His eyes unto heaven from whence came His daily inspiration and power.
In spite of a long difficult day and only a few hours to sleep, the Savior selected the morning, a great while before day, to pray. Some time later, it's recorded: He had healed many; insomuch that they pressed upon Him for to touch Him, as many as had plagues. And unclean spirits, when they saw Him, fell down before Him, and cried, saying, Thou art the Son of God (3:10-11).
Prayer and the ministry of Christ were always closely associated. There are some who think they may be excused from prayer in order to work because they are so busy. There are others who think that God will be pleased with prayer in lieu of work, but the example of Christ rebukes all such inconsistency. It is in combination with prayer and work that we receive the Lord's blessing.
In His great works, our Lord often commenced with prayer. Eighteen times our Lord's own prayers were spoken of in the Gospels, emphasizing His complete submission to the Father's will.
The great need among Christians today is to set aside time every day to read the Bible and pray. In doing this, our experience of Christ's presence will become more real and eventually our whole life will be radically changed. We are told: Study to shew thyself approved unto God (II Timothy 2:15).
Sanctify them through Thy Truth: Thy Word is Truth (John 17:17).
Thought for Today:
A married couple that does not talk together has a poor marriage. So it is with the Christian that does not pray.
1:7 latchet =b> leather strap similar to a shoelace; 1:26 torn him =b> thrown him into convulsions; 1:43 straitly charged =b> sternly warned; 1:45 to blaze abroad =b> to make known everywhere; 1:45 every quarter =b> every region; 2:1 noised =b> reported.
For Mark 1:2: See Malachi 3:1. Mark 1:3: See Isaiah 40:3.
Pray for International Shortwave Broadcasts for two days sponsored by Robert & Iva Jo Swinsburg • Radio Sri Lanka International Shortwave Broadcasts sponsored by A Child of God • Staff: Karen Hawkins • Government Officials: Sen. Maria Cantwell (WA) and Rep. Ted Poe (TX) • Country: Jamaica (3 million) in the West Indies • Major languages: English and Creole • Religious freedom • 78% Protestant; 10% Roman Catholic; 7% Afro-American spiritist • Prayer Suggestion: Call to the Lord for help; He will save you out of your troubles (Psa. 34:17).
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 6:34