We had some leftover Chick-fil-a nuggets at our home last night. (Surprising I know, but when you order the medium nugget tray sometimes that happens.) In addition, I’ve had a biscuit recipe out on my kitchen counter for a while so I thought I would make my own chick-n-minis for our breakfast this morning. I rose early, spent some time with the Lord and then began to start breakfast before waking everyone up. However, after getting halfway through the recipe I realized we did not have any eggs. Luckily, our chickens have begun laying again after our hot summer. I decided to check the chicken pen just in case one of them laid an egg after we had already gathered them yesterday. Keep in mind I did rise early and it was still very dark outside. I grabbed a flashlight and headed outside. Unfortunately there were no eggs and I began to head back into the house to figure out what I was going to do next. It was then God stopped me at the set of chairs I had put out the day before under one of our trees. He reminded me of the moment He gave to me about getting up, going out, finding a deserted place, and praying (Mark 1:35). I paused right there, sat down and reflected and meditated on God’s word from Psalm 19 while I prayed. I didn’t stay long, but I was able to taste just a little of what it might have been like for Jesus to spend those still quiet moments before the sun rose with His Father out in the creation that God created through Jesus (John 1:3). I enjoy my time with the Lord in the mornings, but going outside in the stillness of the dawn was a very different experience and I might even trying it again sometime when I am not as rushed.
I hope you have been able to truly rest in God today and enjoy some uninterrupted moments with Him. Today we join Jesus as He descends from His prayer time in Galilee and travels to Capernaum.
After spending time on the mountain in prayer, Jesus descends and despite His disciples and everyone else seeking Him for more miracles and healings, Jesus tells them that the reason He has come is to preach in other villages (1:38). So He leaves and is confronted with a man who has a skin issue.
Pause here. The statement this man makes to Jesus is important.
“If you are WILLING, You can make me clean.” Mark 1:40
This simple statement is important because it marks a difference in the faith he has and the faith that the man who comes to Jesus with his son who has an unclean spirit. The man in Mark 9:22 tell Jesus:
“If you CAN DO anything, have compassion on us and help us.”
The difference in the two…The man with the skin issue comes to Christ on Christ’s willingness while the other man comes to Christ on Christ’s ability. Why is this important? Because it reveals in the heart what one believes about God. Do we truly believe God is capable of doing ALL things and it is just a matter of His willingness to do it or do we still harbor a tiny bit of doubt as to the power of the God we serve to do ALL things?
Christ magnifies this in His own life when He is in the garden praying before the soldiers come to take Him away.
“And He said, ‘Abba, Father! All things are possible for You. Take this cup from Me. Nevertheless, not what I will, but what You will.” Mark 14:36
Christ had no doubt His Father could save Him, but Christ was willing to walk in obedience to God’s will and not His own. May we too come to God in faith in His ability to do all things while walking in obedience to God’s will and not our own.
Christ is moved with compassion at the man’s faith. He reaches out and touches the man who has not been touched since he became unclean. The man is healed immediately.
After a few days Christ makes it to Capernaum. News spreads as to where He is and the people begin to come. Even the scribes, which somehow arrived among the first since they are sitting in the house (2:6) while the latecomers are having to climb up onto the roof just to get their paralyzed friend to Jesus (2:4). Jesus does not mince words but forgives the man’s sins immediately. This does not go over well with the scribes.
After “pleasing” the scribes by telling the man to get up and walk, Christ goes down by the sea and calls Levi, a tax collector, to follow Him. He goes to Levi’s house and eats with him. When the scribes and Pharisees hear about this, they begin to question Jesus’ disciples as to the reason behind what Jesus is doing? The disciples do not have time to respond before Jesus, Himself, answers them:
“Those who are well do not need a doctor, but the sick do need one. I didn’t come to call the righteous; but sinners.” Mark 2:17
In just a few short days, we have seen Christ teach with authority (1:22), cast out unclean spirits with authority (1:26-27), and forgive sins (2:10) with authority. In addition, we have been challenged to slow down around the corners and check to see if we truly believe that this God CAN DO ALL THINGS.
Lord, as we begin another workweek help us to live out our convicted faith and preach the good news that Jesus is God’s Son. May we walk in the belief of Your ability to do all things while at the same time praying Your will to be done on earth as it is in heaven.