Gracefully Truthful

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Discover the original intent of Scripture. Make good application to our everyday lives.
Become equipped to correctly handle the Word of Truth!

Read His Words Before Ours!

Mark 1:35-38

Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he got up, went out, and made his way to a deserted place; and there he was praying. 36 Simon and his companions searched for him, 37 and when they found him they said, “Everyone is looking for you.” 38 And he said to them, “Let’s go on to the neighboring villages so that I may preach there too. This is why I have come.”

The Original Intent

1) What do these verses reveal about Jesus’ pace of life?

Quite a bit is packed into these few words. This tiny snapshot of Christ’s life compels us to slow down and linger here as we study Him. Jesus lived on earth for approximately 33 years and, as John records, He filled those years with so many things that “not even the world itself could contain the books that could be written” about Jesus. (John 21:25)

Curious then, isn’t it, that Mark, who wrote the shortest gospel about Jesus, chose to record this small, seemingly meaningless detail. Then again Mark records a similar scenario in Mark 6:31-32. Mark was a disciple who walked with Jesus day in and day out for 3 years, he had a front row seat to watch the Messiah in the flesh respond to a million different scenarios.

Mark knew Christ’s character, and he knew that this habit Jesus had of getting up early, and going away to a desolate place was critical. This was as much a natural routine for Jesus as it was for Him to breath, wake, and sleep. Getting away to pray was simply how Jesus functioned.

The Everyday Application

1) What do these verses reveal about Jesus’ pace of life?

Jesus had people looking for Him likely from the moment He had nestled Himself in His quiet place. (sound familiar?! I always have someone looking for me!) Notice what the disciples did not say when they found Jesus. “Where have you been?! We thought you had been arrested! We were afraid you’d been killed! What are you doing out here?!”

No, the disciples knew exactly what Jesus was doing and why He was doing it. The disciples knew the pace of life for Jesus was crazy and chaotic and exhausting like they had never experienced. Crowds of people every single day, a constant barrage of beggars, wounded, terminally ill, and even parents of deceased children wanted to find Jesus. When they woke in the morning and found Jesus gone, they knew where He was.

He had gone out again, as was His habit, to find silence and solitude somewhere and commune with His Father, just as He had been doing for all eternity. This wasn’t anything new for Jesus, this was how He did life. So, I ask you and I ask myself, if Jesus Christ, the Lord of All, needed daily, deep connection with God, what should hold us back from doing the same? Regardless of how crazy the chaos is…

The Original Intent

2) Why did the author record such details about when and where and how Jesus prayed?

First, Jesus was exceedingly intentional. Mark makes a point of telling us how crazy early it was when Jesus set out to pray. Don’t get side-tracked with the time of day, focus instead on His persistent intentionality. Everyone knows it isn’t easy to get up in the morning, let alone get up “extra” early to pray. Everything inside of us screams “warm beds and soft pillows”.

But Jesus wasn’t going for comfort, it was simply more valuable to meet with God than it was to sleep longer. Second, Jesus “got up”. He didn’t lay on his mat and make a semi-half-asleep attempt to pray, He physically got up and went out; Jesus had to wake up and become alert before He could be fully present. Third, He “made His way to a deserted place”. He was purposed in having a specific location in mind. Specific time, intentional preparation, planned location. Fourth, He prayed. This is the obvious part, right? But Mark still includes it. Jesus set the time, prepared for worship, set out a spot, and followed through in connecting through prayer.

The Everyday Application

2) Why did the author record such details about when and where and how Jesus prayed?

What comfort are you willing to give up in order to consistently and intentionally meet with God. Jesus gave up sleep and a warm house, He even left the house so He could be fully awake and prepared to connect deeply and authentically with God. Have you ever considered how we prepare for quiet time and personal worship?

Being intentional is one thing, waking up and engaging is another. Before you sit down with God, think through what you personally need to do to “wake up, prepare, and be engaged”. Maybe it’s coffee, maybe it’s making the bed, maybe it’s going for a run, do what you need for the purpose of fully engaging God. 

Jesus stole away to a specific spot, do you have a location set aside for prayer and Scripture study? Finally, even if we do the first 3 (specific time, intentional preparation, planned location), sometimes the actual prayer and Scripture part can be left hanging.

We get distracted by “to-do’s” as we finally sit down, kids come running, the phone rings, or our eye catches that dirty sock sticking out from under the bed. But we are faced with the choice, just as Jesus was, to either follow through or become distracted. What we really value most is made evident by our daily choices.

The Original Intent

3) What do these verses reveal about Jesus’ purpose?

When the disciples approached him, crowds had already begun to gather. “Everyone is looking for you”, they said. Regardless of the peoples’ plan, Jesus had intentional purpose for His ministry plans that day, just as He did for His prayer timeJesus responded with, “Let’s go on to the neighboring villages so that I may preach there too.” His daily life was purposefully directed because He had met with God as His first priority.

The Everyday Application

3) What do these verses reveal about Jesus’ purpose?

There will always be distractions, criticisms, mountains of “to-do’s”, and loud voices screaming for our attention, but the Lord has set up each day according to His rhythm and His purpose. All that’s required of us is to lean into Him, connect deeply, and live in step with His voice, letting all other shouts be drowned out as we practice tuning our ear to His lilting invitation to come away and be with Him.

Dwelling with the Almighty, consistently, intentionally, and full of purpose, will find Him to be a refuge, a fortress, and a deliverer against whom nothing and no one can stand. (Psalm 91:1-6)

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