”As soon as they left the synagogue, they went with James and John to the home of Simon and Andrew. Simon’s mother-in-law was in bed with a fever, and they immediately told Jesus about her. So he went to her, took her hand and helped her up. The fever left her and she began to wait on them. That evening after sunset the people brought to Jesus all the sick and demon-possessed. The whole town gathered at the door, 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.
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. Simon and his companions went to look for him, and when they found him, they exclaimed: “Everyone is looking for you!”
Jesus replied, “Let us go somewhere else—to the nearby villages—so I can preach there also. That is why I have come.” So he traveled throughout Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and driving out demons.
A man with leprosy came to him and begged him on his knees, “If you are willing, you can make me clean.” Jesus was indignant. He reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” Immediately the leprosy left him and he was cleansed.Mark 1:29 - 45
Jesus sent him away at once with a strong warning: “See that you don’t tell this to anyone. But go, show yourself to the priest and offer the sacrifices that Moses commanded for your cleansing, as a testimony to them.” Instead he went out and began to talk freely, spreading the news. As a result, Jesus could no longer enter a town openly but stayed outside in lonely places. Yet the people still came to him from everywhere.
- One of the main reasons church exists is to make disciples
- Discipleship is a key part of building our faith and growing closer to God
- Jesus came to make disciples not build a church
What is a Disciple?
A great term μαθητής (mathētēs) refers to any student, pupil or apprentice.
Most often it meant people who were devoted followers of a religious leader.
So Jesus’ disciples were to be his students, to learn from him.
The place where we get the strength, energy, motivation and resources to be disciples is in our intimacy with God.
”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.Mark 1:35
A Solitary Place
The pattern of active ministry followed by retreat to pray is a pattern we see throughout the gospels and one we would do well to model in our own lives.
A solitary place with God can mean different things to different people.
For some getting up early for prayer and bible reading, others the end of the day, some will use structured material, for others it will be on their daily commute listening to worship etc.
Whatever it is that fits, it is important that we carve out time to do it because there is no way of delegating it or short-cutting a solitary place with God.
”I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.John 15:5
”So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.Colossians 2:6 - 7
Just as plants sometimes need to be without water to encourage deeper roots, our discipleship requires time and space with God to deepen our roots to survive in tough times.
”To insure the greatest efficiency in the dart, the harpooners of this world must start to their feet out of idleness, and not out of toil.Eugene PetersonThe Contemplative Pastor
Just as the harpoons from Moby Dick must be well rested on a chaotic boat to insure their opportunity is not wasted, so must we be rested in God to ensure the opportunities of discipleship.
”Be still and know that I am GodPsalm 46:10
”In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust be your strengthIsaiah 30:15
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