Note: This Post is part of the series “Studies in Mark” see the Series Index for other posts in this series.
29 And immediately he left the synagogue and entered the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John. 30Now Simon’s mother-in-law lay ill with a fever, and immediately they told him about her. 31And he came and took her by the hand and lifted her up, and the fever left her, and she began to serve them.32That evening at sundown they brought to him all who were sick or oppressed by demons. 33And the whole city was gathered together at the door. 34And he healed many who were sick with various diseases, and cast out many demons. And he would not permit the demons to speak, because they knew him.35And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed. 36And Simon and those who were with him searched for him, 37and they found him and said to him, “Everyone is looking for you.” 38And he said to them, “Let us go on to the next towns, that I may preach there also, for that is why I came out.” 39And he went throughout all Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and casting out demons. –Mark 1:29 – 39 (ESV)
Here we see an example of Christ’s compassion. Simon Peter’s mother-in-law was sick and when they told Jesus about her, He healed her. He also, in v. 32 and following heals pretty well everyone in the whole city who was sick. V.34 tells us, “And he healed many who were sick with various diseases, and cast out many demons…” It was a busy night which, no doubt, left him drained. So here we see an example of his humanity. In Oklahoma we’d say he was ‘whupped’. Capernaum was a big city and ‘all’ the sick in a town that size is a lot of folks.
Here’s what I mean. v.36 tells us that Simon and those who were with him searched for Jesus “37and they found him and said to him, “Everyone is looking for you.”” You can relate to that. Everyone wants a piece of you and you’re all out of pieces to give. And here’s the thing that your church doesn’t realize: if you did have more time you’d give it. Willingly would you pour out whatever remains of your life if it would cause them to know Christ.
Are you a pastor who is being driven to serve and visit and go and do things which are draining you? Are you supposed to be at hospitals and funerals and weddings polished and kind and serene with all your remarks seasoned with salt including those in the pulpit on Sunday regardless of the week of late nights hand-holding and visit making? You’re a man who is called to the ministry of the Gospel and you’re a compassionate fellow. In fact, you probably feel that you’re called to do these things. Good for you brother, but you’re not doing yourself any favors killing yourself to get all that done.
I don’t have an answer for that. I’ve known a lot of Baptists who treated their pastor like a hireling. But I’ll tell you what, the hireling flees. Can’t blame them really, you can’t pay anyone enough money to put up with the garbage your typical Southern Baptist church can dish up to a pastor and then expect him to eat it with a smile. God love ‘em but they’re a stiff necked people. I don’t have an answer for you. Even Moses cried out to the Lord, “Why did you ever send me here?” (that’s a paraphrase—something like Exodus ch.6) But Jesus does have the answer. After his time in that desolate place that we all reach when we pour ourselves out for Christ he can answer like he does in v.38: “38And he said to them, “Let us go on to the next towns, that I may preach there also, for that is why I came out.” 39And he went throughout all Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and casting out demons.”
You’re called to preach brother, so preach. Seek out that desolate place and pray and that will be your answer.