A Heart for Jesus, Week 4 (Mark 1:35-39)

The heart of the Christmas season is celebrating the life of Jesus Christ. In His life, we see the identity of Jesus Christ on display. Jesus came to change our hearts for Him. How does the life of Jesus change our hearts for Jesus? Each Friday throughout the month of December, Esther St John will walk us through Mark 1 to help our hearts see Jesus. In this post, Esther walks us through Mark 1:35-39.

The Priority of Jesus 

In last week’s passage, we learned about the identity of Jesus and His intentionality to let people see who He was through His teaching and miracles. Jesus is the Son of God! Even the demons knew him and feared him, though they did not follow Him. Having heard of His identity, in this week’s passage we will focus on the priorities of Jesus.

The Priority of Prayer

My “to-do” list is something I enjoy checking and hopefully completing by the end of each day. I get so busy trying to accomplish so much, and I base my productivity on what I have done. Can anyone relate? The problem comes when the “to-do” list contains the wrong priorities.

In Mark 1:35-39, we see Jesus prioritizing time with His Father by waking up early in the morning and looking for a quiet place to spend time in prayer. His priorities were in order despite His busy schedule and despite the pressures of the people. 

Examine the Text:

Prayer marked the life of Jesus: read Luke 5:12-16 and Mathew 14: 22-23 

  • Why was Jesus intentional in spending time in prayer? 
  • Why did He look for a desolated place to pray? 
  • What do you notice about the context where Jesus decides to withdraw from the crowd?

Scripture provides all these details because they are important. As we said in previous weeks, Scripture is the way which God communicates with us. The way we communicate with our God is through prayer.

Apply to Life:

  • How does your prayer life look like today? 
  • How well do you prioritize prayer when you are under pressure? 
  • What are the things you tend the pray about most often? 
  • Under what circumstances do you tend to pray with more fervency and why? 

The Priority of Preaching

After spending time in prayer, Jesus was ready to go and preach the gospel. Why? Because that was the reason why He had come. He had a mission from the very beginning and was obedient to fulfill what the Scriptures said about Him through the Prophets.

Jesus went throughout Galilee teaching and preaching the good news of salvation, giving hope to those who were hopeless. He cast out demons and made people free from the bondage of sin and destruction. 

Examine the Text:

Read Isaiah 61:1 and Luke 4:17-22

  • Why was Jesus intentional to preach the gospel everywhere He went? 
  • What were peoples’ responses to his preaching and teaching? 

While only qualified men are called to preach, we all are called to share the gospel with others and have the responsibility of discipling and teaching others about the truth of God’s Word. 

Apply to Life:

  • When was the last time you prayed and shared the gospel with someone? 
  • How is the Lord calling you to respond in obedience and faith as you share the gospel with people around you?

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