Spend A Day With Jesus
We can learn a lot about a person by following them during a typical day.
Have you ever wondered what it would have been like to live when Jesus lived,
and to have been able to be one of those people who heard Him teach in the synagogue in Capernaum,
to watch Him cast out demons and heal the sick?
Have you ever wondered what a day in the life of Jesus Christ was like?
Well, this morning we are going to follow Jesus through on of those days.
Jesus had a busy life.
The key word in Mark's gospel is "immediately", which appears more than 40 times.
He was always busy.
Yet though He was busy redeeming the world, Jesus saw the value of setting aside a time
to be alone with His Father in prayer.
There are 17 different accounts of Jesus praying in the four gospels.
He often sought solitude for His prayers.
We read, "Immediately, Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of Him to the other side,
while He dismissed the crowd.
After He had dismissed them, He went up on a mountainside by Himself to pray.
When evening came, He was there alone." (Matt. 14:22-23)
The best way to start your day is by spending time alone with God;
90 percent of your personal, spiritual and relational problems would see amazing improvement
if you devoted the first 20 or 30 minutes of your day alone with God.
Of course, you can pray anywhere -- at any time.
You can pray while you're driving just be sure not to close your eyes.
You can pray while you're exercising or working.
It is o vital to spend time alone with God, and doing nothing except communing with Him
in His Word and in prayer.
All religions observe prayer.
But in most religions, there's no intimacy -- just a religious duty.
Devout Muslim men kneel and pray five times a day, but their prayers are simply, memorized recitations
they repeat again and again.
For those of us who know Jesus, prayer is a conversation with our Creator -- our Father in heaven..
We speak to Him in prayer, and He speaks to us through His Word.
The importance of having a morning quiet time is expressed in a poem written by Ralph Cushman,
titled, "The Secret."
"I met God in the morning, When my day was at its best,
And His presence came like sunrise, Like a glory in my breast.
All day long His presence lingered; All day long He stayed with me;
And we sailed in perfect calmness, O'er a very troubled sea.
Other ships were blown and battered, Other ships were sore distressed,
But the winds that seemed to drive them, Brought to us a peace and rest.
Then I thought of other mornings, With a keen remorse of mind,
When I too had loosed the moorings, With His presence left behind.
So I think I know the secret, Learned from many a troubled way;
You must seek Him in the morning, If you want Him through the day."
Are you following Jesus?
Then you will be identify with Him in church, invite Him into your home, introduce hurting people to Him,
and spend time with Him in prayer.
We should be introducing hurting people to Jesus.
The Bible says, "That evening after sunset the people brought to Jesus all the sick and demon-possessed."
Sunset on Saturday would have been the end of the Sabbath.
No one had watches, so the people waited until they could count three stars in the sky,
and then, they knew that the Sabbath had ended.
People had heard about the power of Jesus, and they were anxiously waiting for the time
when they wouldn't violate the Sabbath by carrying their loved ones to meet Jesus.
Notice there was a difference between those who were sick, and with those who were demon-possessed.
Those were two different categories.
Some people see a demon lurking behind every illness.
They think every sniffle, hiccup or illness is the evidence of demonic activity.
Demons are real, but they aren't the reason for every illness and weakness we face.
Jesus healed the sick and cast out demons.
When Jesus called Andrew and Peter to follow Him and become fishers of men,
they were not strangers to Jesus.
They already had met Him.
In John's Gospel, we read that it was Andrew who brought Peter to Jesus for his initial introduction.
"Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, was one of the two who heard what John had said and followed Jesus.
The first thing Andrew did was find his brother Simon and tell him,
'We have found the Messiah' (that is, the Christ), and he brought him to Jesus" (John 1:40-42).
Andrew always was bringing people to Jesus.
We should always be bringing people to Jesus.
When was the last time you brought someone to Jesus -- have you ever?
Andrew was the one who brought the little boy with five loaves and two fish to Jesus.
In John 12:20-22, there were some Greeks who asked about Jesus.
Andrew took them, and introduced them to Jesus.
Andrew wasn't considered as one of the most important disciples.
He was content to be in the background, and just introduce people to Jesus.
In 1855, a man named, Edward Kimball, walked into a men's shoe store in Boston,
and told a young shoe salesmen about Jesus Christ.
That shoe salesman gave his heart to Christ.
His name was Dwight L. Moody, and he became an evangelist who preached to thousands.
Today, there is a Moody Bible Institute, Moody Church and Moody Publishers in Chicago.
The purpose of this visit in our Scripture passage was to share a meal and to have fellowship.
Peter and Andrew invited Jesus into their home.
It wasn't a long walk to Capernaum which was a small city.
The distance from the synagogue to Peter's house was thought to be about 150 feet.
Do you invite Jesus to be the honored Guest in your home?
I have known some church members who seem to leave Jesus at church when they go home.
Six days a week, they have a different attitude and use a different vocabulary;
but on Sunday, they dress up -- and act holy and religious.
Sometimes, families can be fussing and fighting with each other in the car on the way to church,
and then they pull into the parking lot, see other church members,
and say, "Oh, good morning! Praise God! Isn't this a wonderful day? God bless you!"
For an hour or two, they wear their Christian masks; but when they get back home,
they take off their Christian masks along with their Sunday clothes,
and say, "Whew, I'm glad that's over for another week!"
The Bible has a word for that: hypocrisy.
Have you invited Jesus into your home, and invited Him to be a part of your family?
It is so sad to say, but most Christian families have no table time together.
Instead of families sitting down and talking together at a meal, everyone is eating on the run,
playing on their devices or watching television.
He said that top universities in American have discovered the greatest predictor of academic success
for students is: "How many times a week do you eat at home with your family?"
For students who say two or more times a week, those students will be the most successful.
There is a verse in Revelation that we have often misquoted to someone who wants to receive Jesus,
This verse is actually about Jesus entering our church and our home to fellowship with us.
Jesus says, "Here I am!
I stand at the door and knock.
If anyone hears My voice and opens the door,
I will come in and eat with him, and he with Me." (Revelation 3:20).
When you invite Jesus into your home and family, it really makes a difference.
It will make a difference in your marriage.
Seeing God's power is inspiring!
In our Scripture passage on that Saturday, something unusual happened at Jesus' church.
A man under the control of an evil spirit jumped up and started shouting at Jesus.
Can you imagine how that disrupted the church service?
These nice respectable Jewish men and women were accustomed to quiet and reverence in their gatherings.
Suddenly a man jumped up, and started screaming,
"What do You want with us, Jesus of Nazareth?
Have You come to destroy us?
I know who You are the Holy One of God!"
This tells us that demons recognized Jesus as the Son of God,
and they trembled because they knew they would be destroyed.
Jesus commanded the demon to be silent and leave the man.
The man started shaking, and with a final scream, the demon departed.
The people were astonished that Jesus had authority to command evil spirits.
Mark records more demon stories per page than any of the other three gospel writers.
Demons are real.
There are evil entities at work in our world, and can't be explained simply as sinful human nature.
Dr. Paul Tournier was a famous, Swiss physician and author who saw the connection
between physical and spiritual in sickness.
He wrote: "There are many doctors, who in their struggle against disease, have had, like me,
the feeling that they were confronting not something passive,
but a clever and resourceful enemy" (A Doctor's Casebook in the Light of the Bible).
Satan is real.
He has a mobilized, demonized army to carry out his plan to kill, steal and destroy.
However, Jesus defeated the devil at the cross, and we already know the final outcome.
Remember, "Greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world." (1 John 4:4)
What did they do when church was over?
They had Sunday lunch, except it was Saturday.
The Bible says, "As soon as they left the synagogue, they went with James and John to the home
of Simon and Andrew...the fever left her and she began to wait on them." (Mark 1:29)
Peter was married, although we never learned his wife's name.
Peter's mother-in-law was sick in bed with a fever, and Jesus healed her.
Jesus came so you might have life, and live it to the fullest.
As we follow Jesus for a day, and we will see several points where we connect with Him.
We identify with Jesus in Church
The Bible says, "When the Sabbath came, Jesus went into the synagogue and began to teach."
The Jewish Sabbath began on Friday at sunset.
That's when families gathered for a Shabbat meal.
They attended the synagogue on Saturday morning.
So we see that on that Saturday morning, Jesus attended the synagogue.
The word synagogue means "to gather together."
The Temple still existed in Jerusalem, and that's where the main worship took place.
There were hundreds of synagogues where Jews could gather to read the Torah and talk about Scripture.
By this time, Jesus already had a reputation as a gifted teacher, so it would have been His custom
to stand and read a portion of the Old Testament.
Then He would sit and proceed to teach.
We need to follow Jesus' example.
On the Lord's Day, we should gather with God's people to worship and study His Word, as well.
There are two ways you can recognize a church where Jesus is present.
Hearing God's word is essential
The people were amazed that Jesus spoke with such authority.
Most rabbis quoted other rabbis who had quoted other rabbis before them.
Jesus said, "This is what God says."
He spoke the very Word of God.
At His home synagogue, He had opened the scroll of Isaiah, reading about the coming of the Messiah,
and said, "Today this teaching is fulfilled in your midst."
Jesus wasn't just another prophet in a long line of prophets.
He was the Messiah.
In every church where Jesus is present, the Bible is always the central focus.
In our passage today, we're going to follow Jesus for 24 hours.
We will see what He did and said in that day was so significant that they wrote a book about it.
It has been said that the Bible is the all-time best-selling book of history,
but millions of Bibles are also given away.
They all tell the story of Jesus.
Let's look at our text and learn about a day in the life of the Lord.
Mark gives us an exhausting description of a single day in the life of Jesus.
Read Mark 1:21-39
The day starts in worship at the synagogue at Capernaum.
Mark says that "the people were amazed at Jesus' teaching,
because He taught them as one who had authority, not as the teachers of the law. "
The teachers of the law, the Scribes, never gave decisions of their own.
They would always begin, " There is a teaching that
Then they would quote all the great legal masters of the past "Hillel says this, and Akiba adds this,
while other authorities contend . . .".
The last thing a Scribe ever gave was an independent judgment.
Jesus is totally different.
When Jesus teaches the authority is all Jesus.
Its not "Truly, truly, Hillel says to you or even Moses says to you."
It's "Truly, Truly I say to you."
Mark notes the amazement of the congregation at Jesus' teaching.
He doesn't tell us what Jesus says.
The focus is on Jesus the teacher.
How much authority does Jesus claim?
He even feels free to add to the teaching of scripture.
In the Sermon on the Mount He says, "You have heard that it was said to the people long ago,
'Do not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.'
But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment."
You can't do that with the commandments unless you have the authority to do it
and only God has that authority.
Every time Jesus teaches He makes a claim about His own identity as the Son of God.
No mere human being has had or ever will have the inherent authority of Jesus.
A human religious leader like a Confucius, Buddha or Mohammed might speak truth,
but they are not, themselves, the truth.
Jesus makes incredible claims and makes incredible promises.
Then He backs them up by rising from the dead.
That's what separates Christianity from every man-made religion.
So Jesus says, "I just announced my authority as the Son of God."
The people are amazed, and there is so much more to come!
As the people sit thunderstruck by Jesus' teaching, "a man in their synagogue who was possessed
by an evil spirit cried out, 'What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth?
Have you come to destroy us?"
This man with the demon has always been perfectly comfortable in the synagogue.
Nothing in the synagogue service threatens him.
But when Jesus shows up, the demon reacts like a scalded cat.
This demon wants nothing to do with Jesus.
His shriek is full of malevolent aggression. "What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth?
Have you come to destroy us?"
He uses the plural because he knows that Jesus' mission is not simply to defeat one demon,
but to destroy the entire demonic power structure.
The end-breaking of God's kingdom starts in the cosmic arena.
In Mark 3:27 Jesus says that He has come to bind the "strong man", Satan, in order to free the enslaved.
As supernatural powers the demons recognize Jesus' mission and authority of Jesus before humanity does.
But the demon's dramatic, final cry: "I know who you are the Holy One of God!" isn't meant as a testimony.
It is the demon's pathetic attempt to control Jesus through magic where it was believed
that pronouncing another's name would give control over him.
It doesn't work.
Jesus will never be controlled by any demon.
Jesus responds. "'Be quiet! Come out of him!'
The evil spirit shook the man violently and came out of him with a shriek."
Mark records, "And at once His fame spread everywhere throughout all the surrounding region of Galilee."
When Mark says, "at once," he means at once.
By evening, everyone in the area brings their sick and demon-possessed friends
and loved ones to be healed by Jesus.
The word has gone out like wildfire.
Here is a man who commands the spirits of darkness, and they obey.
Fortunately Peter says, "Jesus, why don't you come over to my house for lunch.
It's not too far" which is a good thing because you couldn't travel too far on the Sabbath.
Within a stone's throw of the Capernaum synagogue is the foundation of a house
that is identified as the house of Peter.
Archaeologists have found devotional graffiti in Greek, Latin, and Aramaic scratched on the plaster walls
that indicate that this home was a gathering place for Christians from the end of the first century.
So there is a strong probability that the site really is Peter's house.
Mark writes: "And immediately He left the synagogue, and entered the house of Simon and Andrew,
with James and John. Now Simon's mother-in-law lay sick with a fever, and immediately they told Him of her.
And he came and took her by the hand and lifted her up, and the fever left her; and she served them.'
Peter and Andrew had invited Jesus, James and John home with them,
only to find that the mother-in-law who is sick.
So they apologize to Jesus they "tell him of her" to explain the labor shortage in the home.
She was suffering from what the Talmud called "a burning fever" which is still common in that part of Galilee.
Up until this point, Jesus hasn't healed anyone.
He's turned water into wine and cast out a demon but there have been no healings.
But with a touch and a word of unique authority and power, He heals her.
She wasn't that sick.
It was not a necessary miracle no more than turning water into wine to help a party was a necessary miracle.
The fever would have run its course, and she would have recovered in a few days.
But Jesus responds to her suffering, light though it is, touches her and restores her.
Verse 31 says that Peter's mother-in-law "began to wait on them."
This verse has been used in some churches in support of relegating women to serving capacities.
But it certainly doesn't carry an idea of subservience or inferiority to Mark.
It is the same word translated "to serve" in 10:45, where Jesus declares that the Son of Man comes
"not to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many."
Serving is simply the way of Jesus, and those who are touched by Him.
Service is the telltale sign of everyone who has truly received the healing touch of Christ.
Our response to Jesus' touch on our lives should be like that of the talkative woman
who received Christ under Charles Spurgeon's ministry in London and said,
"Oh, Mr. Spurgeon, Christ has changed my life - and he shall never hear the end of it!"
Now Jesus is spending the afternoon with His close friends.
The peaceful interlude doesn't last.
People are waiting to storm the house.
They wait until evening because the law forbade carrying a burden like a sick person on the Sabbath day.
The Sabbath ran from 6 p.m. Friday to 6 p.m. Saturday but they didn't have watches or clocks.
So the law was that the Sabbath ended when three stars came out in the sky.
Three stars appear and the people head to where Jesus is.
The people bring to Jesus all the sick and demon-possessed.
Jesus' responds with healing power.
He also drove out many demons, but he would not let the demons speak because they knew who He was.
He laid a vocal quarantine upon them.
His ministry is not going to be founded on the testimony of demons.
It's also not going to be founded on healings.
On a number of occasions Jesus says to those He heals,
"Don't tell anyone about this. Just accept your healing. But don't spread the word around."
Yet, invariably they disobey Him.
Soon Jesus can no longer come and minister in the city because of the crowds that follow him.
Jesus did not want those crowds not on those terms.
Now, God does heal and thank God for physical healings.
But they are only temporary blessings at best.
What Jesus continually emphasizes is the healing of the spirit of people -- the healing of bitterness and hostility
and lust and anger, of worry and anxiety and a critical spirit.
This is what He is after deliverance from these ugly and evil things, because this is of eternal value.
The healing of the spirit is a permanent thing.
Ho Jesus turns his back on popular acclaim, and tries to suppress it and keep it under control,
so He can focus on the ministry of greater importance the ministry of the Word.
Jesus has been healing and casting out demons all evening and now, He says:
I need to go talk with my Father."
Mark records that early in the morning, before it was daylight, Jesus went out on the mountainside
and there, alone by Himself, He prayed.
But even there He was not safe.
His disciples interrupt this communion by telling Him that everyone is looking for Him.
And Jesus reveals the heart and substance of His prayer in what he says in reply:
"Let us go on to the next towns that I may preach there also; for that is why I came."
This is what He was praying about that God would lead him, doors would be opened,
and hearts prepared in the cities to which he would go next.
What should jump out at us is the authority of Jesus.
He has authority over the Word of God.
He has authority over demons.
He has authority over illness.
And, in obedience to His Father, He has authority over His own schedule.
What does the authority of Jesus mean for us today
Jesus still has authority over the Word of God because He is the Word made flesh.
Jesus accepts the words of God as the word of God.
Even when He changes it, it is to make it harder, not easier.
And since Jesus is the one with authority over the Word, we need to follow His lead in our use of scripture
and treat it the way He treats it with reverence and obedience.
We live in a time when many people want a loose-leaf Bible in which they feel free to remove the parts
they don't like especially in the area of sexuality.
We live in a time when people don't want to be judged by the Word
so they set themselves up as judges of the Word "I don't like that so God must not have really said it."
Jesus doesn't do that.
He accepts the reality of inspiration.
He accepts the reality of the Bible's prophetic nature.
Since He is the authority on how to treat the Word we must treat the Word the way He treats it.
Jesus still has authority over the demons.
As Christians we cannot be indwelt the way the poor man in the synagogue was.
But we can certainly come under spiritual attack.
We can hear the voice of Satan which means "the accuser."
We can hear his accusations of God to us "If there is really a God who is powerful and loving,
this bad thing wouldn't be happening."
We can hear Satan's accusations of us to ourselves, "You might as well give up trying to live a Christian life
after what you've done. You're hopeless."
We can also hear the Devil's accusations of our brothers and sisters in Christ,
"Those people at church act so loving but they won't really be there for you."
But Jesus has the authority over that accusing voice.
So when we hear it and when we come under its attack, we need to say, "Take it to Jesus."
Jesus is still the one with the authority to tell the demon to shut up!
Jesus still has authority over illness.
He is still the healer.
He is the great Physician.
And He also has the authority to decide what kind of healing we really need.
There are times as your pastor when I have earnestly prayed for a physical hailing that has not yet occurred.
If Jesus set up shop in a house here in our community, I wouldn't wait until evening to head that way
and take a number of people here with me.
But I also have to accept for myself and others that physical healing is not always our greatest need
and is not always God's will.
If Jesus is my Lord, I need to accept that He knows which prayers to answer and how.
Now I want to conclude this message by saying that Jesus also has authority over how we do what we do.
We can sometimes compartmentalize our lives.
We know that Jesus has authority over our prayer lives and maybe even over how we relate to our spouses
and raise our children.
But we hesitate to give Him total authority over things like our vote, our daily schedules and our money.
We hesitate to let Him tell us how to behave at a party or how to behave at work.
But if Jesus is Lord that means that He is Lord of every part of our lives and not just the religious part.
Remember Jesus knew when it was time to leave Capernaum because He had spent time with His Father.
If He needed it, you know how much more we need it.
This sermon was adapted from several sources by Dr. Harold L. White