TODAY’S BIBLE READING:
BIBLE VERSE(S) FOR TODAY:
Mark 1:35 “Before daybreak the next morning, Jesus got up and went out to an isolated place to pray.”
REFLECTIONS ON TODAY’S BIBLE VERSE(S):
Throughout Jesus’ ministry, there is an obvious tension between what He desired to do and what people wanted Him to do.
He saw people’s deepest need and wanted to teach them and invite them into the fellowship that He enjoyed with the Father. That was His primary desire. Healing people was a secondary activity to show that He genuinely cared for people and to validate that He was who He said He was – the Son of God.
Yet, while people flocked to hear Him teach, they primarily wanted to see Him perform miracles. They also wanted Him to fix their problems. They wanted Jesus to focus on the secondary issues.
Jesus was focused primarily on the eternal; they were focused primarily on the temporal.
… and things haven’t changed much in the 2,000 years that separate us from the New Testament events. We tend to focus on the temporal while God is primarily focused on the eternal.
If you don’t believe me, just pay a little extra attention to “prayer request” time when believers gather together. Most of the time, we are praying for sick people. We spend most of our efforts praying to keep Christians out of Heaven rather than praying for lost people to receive eternal life so they can go there.
In this morning’s reading, we come across a passage where Jesus clearly chose the primary over the secondary. He was enjoying time with His Father when He was told that people wanted Him to spend yet more time fixing their temporarily issues. Listen to what He did.
Mark 1:35-38 “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, ‘Everyone is looking for you.’ But Jesus replied, ‘We must go on to other towns as well, and I will preach to them, too. That is why I came.'”
Did you get that? Jesus had spent the previous night healing people. Now, very early in the morning, more folks had shown up to Peter’s house (where Jesus was staying) to get fixed.
… and Jesus said, “Let’s go somewhere else.”
Never get so focused on the secondary that you neglect the primary. Those around you have temporary, tangible needs. Virtually everyone does. If you are able, meet those needs.
But, if that is the extent of your ministry (or your church’s ministry), you’re settling for the temporal and neglecting the eternal. Essentially, everyone you and I meet desperately needs a relationship with the Father. That’s primary.
So, serving others’ needs is good. It’s helpful. But it is only secondary. See it as an avenue to get to the primary – telling them about Jesus.