Lectionary texts: Isaiah 40:21-31, Psalm 147:1-11, 20, 1 Corinthians 9:16-23, Mark 1:29-39
Before daybreak the next morning, Jesus got up and went out to an isolated place to pray. Later Simon and the others went out to find him. When they found him, they said, â€œEveryone is looking for you.â€
But Jesus replied,â€œWe must go on to other towns as well, and I will preach to them, too. That is why I came.â€ So he traveled throughout the region of Galilee, preaching in the synagogues and casting out demons. Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Mark 1:35-39 (NLT)
Jesus did not answer the questions put to Him. He did bow to peer pressure or pressure from the local church leadership. He did tell us what we really needed to know.
â€œFor the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost.â€ Â Â Â Â Â Â Luke 19:10 (NLT)
Here in Mark and Luke’s gospels I am told why Jesus, God Himself, would come and live 33 years in this sin-filled, corrupt world.
Jesus did not come to build big buildings to be His church (John 4:21-24). He did His ministry out in the streets, in homes, from early in the morning to the middle of the night. His plan was all about relationships since He came as the perfect sacrifice to atone for my sins so I could have a relationship with my Father.
Jesus did come to:
Seek. Jesus did not expect those who were lost to find their way into the synagogues. He went out and made Himself visible, lovingly visible, so people would be drawn in to Him. As His disciple that is the example that I am to follow. That means I have to put myself out there. Paul said in the 1 Corinthian passage that he became a slave in order to win as many as possible. Did that man have a â€œburnâ€ for souls, or what?
Preach. I often hear this world said with negativity. Jesus did not â€œpreachâ€ with condemnation except to the Pharisees. Jesus preached with authority (Matthew 7:29) that brought conviction of sin so that there would be a turn, a change, in a life. The difference between condemnation and conviction â€“ is love. When I hear Jesus’ words, whether through someone’s teaching or in God’s Word or through the Holy Spirit to my spirit, I feel remorse and then guilt and shame. It is at that moment that God’s love comes in and the guilt and shame is covered with His love.
Save. Jesus’ mission was always about saving us from eternal death. Without Jesus’ sacrifice, we as God’s children had no option to save ourselves. We could not work our way into the perfection required to have a relationship with our Father. Jesus wants us to have a relationship with the Father just like He has.
But those who trust in the LORD will find new strength.
They will soar high on wings like eagles.
They will run and not grow weary.
They will walk and not faint. Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Isaiah 40:31 (NLT)
Oh, the overwhelming love that came when I accepted that I was a sinner that needed a Savior, Jesus. And then before I could catch my breath, there was more. And there has been more every day since.