Click this link to hear an audio version of the below text narrated by SOTH member Jerry Rhinehart:
Mark 1:29-39 (NIV)
Jesus Heals Many
29 As soon as they left the synagogue, they went with James and John to the home of Simon and Andrew. 30 Simon’s mother-in-law was in bed with a fever, and they immediately told Jesus about her. 31 So he went to her, took her hand, and helped her up. The fever left her and she began to wait on them. 32 That evening after sunset the people brought to Jesus all the sick and demon-possessed. 33 The whole town gathered at the door, 34 and Jesus healed many who had various diseases. He also drove out many demons, but he would not let the demons speak because they knew who he was.
Jesus Prays in a Solitary Place
35 Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house, and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. 36 Simon and his companions went to look for him, 37 and when they found him, they exclaimed: “Everyone is looking for you!” 38 Jesus replied, “Let us go somewhere else—to the nearby villages—so I can preach there also. That is why I have come.” 39 So he traveled throughout Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and driving out demons.
What insights do you see in these stories about Jesus and the kingdom?
I love You, Jesus. You love people and are filled with compassion for them. Out of love, You brought the good news of forgiveness. But it was not just words. You also acted to heal the sick and to drive out demons. Crowds yearning to be healed surrounded You and You touched them with Your healing power. To maintain Your own spiritual strength, You refreshed Your own soul with Your relationship with God the Father. You made it a priority to retreat to a quiet place to pray. You put God first, people second, and everything else was about acting out those two great priorities. Lord I want to follow Your example. I know that in order to have the spiritual strength to meet the needs of family, friends and those who I want to serve, I need to prioritize time with You. Let me retreat to a quiet place daily in order to refresh my soul and deepen my relationship with You. May my heart be filled with compassion as I pray for the sick, share Your story of grace and take action to love others. Let Your light shine through my words and actions. Amen