"Meanderings in Mark"
Series on Mark, Lesson 6

A Day in the Life of the Servant

Text: Mark 1:38 (KJV) And he said unto them, Let us go into the next towns, that I may preach there also: for therefore came I forth.

Theme: Jesus' purpose was to proclaim His message, and everything else He did was to advance that purpose.


"Hold thy peace!" (Mark 1:25, 34)

"Don't tell anyone!" (Mark 1:44)

"Let's go somewhere else!" (Mark 1:38)

QUESTION - All these statements seem strange to us. Why did Jesus say these things?

ANSWER - All point out the real mission of Christ - not miracles, but message! The miracles authenticated the message, but the message was the real mission.

Today we will notice a day in the life of the servant.

However, above the whole day is a sense of purpose like none other.

Notice how Christ's great purpose was intertwined throughout this day in the life of the servant:

I. Afternoon (Mark 1:29-31)

  • QUESTION - How do we know that this passage discusses things that occurred during the afternoon period?

    ANSWER - Synagogue service was over and main Sabbath meal was served at the 6th hour. (Jewish day began at 6:00 a.m., and the hours were counted from that.)

    QUESTION - How did Jesus spend His afternoon? (I.e. His time after the Sabbath service)

    QUESTION - There are three people or groups of people mentioned in this account: Jesus Christ, the disciples, and Peter's mother-in-law. What does this account teach us about each of these people?

    ANSWER - QUOTE Barclay (and discuss what class thinks of each point) - "It tells us something about Jesus. He did not require an audience in order to exert his power; He was just as prepared to heal in the little circle of a cottage as in the great crowd of the synagogue. He was never too tired to help; the need of others took precedence over his own desire for rest." "It tells us something about the disciples. They had not known Jesus long, but already they had begun to take all their troubles to him. Peter's mother-in-law was ill; the simple home was upset; and it was for the disciples the most natural thing in the world to tell Jesus all about it." "It tells us something about Peter's wife's mother. No sooner was she healed that she began to attend to their needs. She used her recovered health for renewed service."

    A. Fellowship (vs. 29)

  • 1. This was the Sabbath (equivalent to our Lord's Day in many respects, but not the same thing)
  • QUESTION - Contrast what we tend to do after services on Sundays, with what Jesus did after services on the Sabbath. Are they the same? What differences exist? Why? Should these differences exist?
  • 2. He had preached (Mark 1:21-22)

  • 3. He had worked (vs. 25)

    4. Now He rested with friends.

    5. Fellowship is vital to the purpose of Christ.

  • B. Discipleship (vs. 29)

  • 1. Jesus preached publicly.
  • 1 Tim 4:13 (KJV) Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine.

    1 Tim 5:17 (KJV) Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine.

    2 Tim 4:2 (KJV) Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.

  • 2. Jesus also spent time individually with His disciples.

  • Mat 28:19-20 (KJV) Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. (NOTE - "Teach" = "make disciples")

    2 Tim 2:2 (KJV) And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.

  • C. Visitation (Mark 1:30-31)

  • 1. Nobody cared for hurting people like Jesus.
  • Mat 23:37 (KJV) O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!
  • Mark 10:21 (KJV) Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.
  • Mark 1:41 (KJV) And Jesus, moved with compassion, put forth his hand, and touched him, and saith unto him, I will; be thou clean.
  • John 11:35-36 (KJV) Jesus wept. Then said the Jews, Behold how he loved him!
  • 2. They were everywhere, just like today.

    3. His miracle demonstrated the validity of His message to her and to the disciples who were there.

  • NOTE - Notice that Peter had a mother-in-law! Pretty silly thing to have if you aren't married, as the Catholic Church claims.
  • 4. Her response should be our response.

  • QUESTION - What was her response? How does it compare / contrast with the response of people toward Christ today?
  • II. Evening (Mark 1:32-34)

  • QUESTION - What time frame is being discussed in these verses?

    ANSWER - Answer is given twice ("at even" and "when the sun did set") because the author wanted to make sure we knew the Sabbath had ended. Sabbath ended at 6:00 p.m.

    QUESTION - How did the Jews determine that it was evening since they had no clocks or watches?

    ANSWER - They determined that the time had come when the sun was down, and 3 stars could be seen in the sky.

    A. Miracles rather than rest.

  • 1. Jesus was not lazy.

    2. Healing did not start until sundown, due to Sabbath restrictions.

    3. Healing went on into the night.

  • QUESTION - How many of them did Jesus heal?

    ANSWER - "Healed many" is a Hebrew idiom meaning that He healed "all that were brought."

    QUESTION - How does this compare to those who claim the gift of healing today?

  • QUESTION - What do we learn about Jesus from this evening?

    ANSWER - His purpose was more important than His comfort.

  • B. Silence rather than testimony.

  • QUESTION - Why did He silence testimony from demons again?

    1. He was just beginning to reveal Himself.

    2. "Miracle seekers" was not what He wanted, but that is what was coming to Him in droves.

  • NOTE - After feeding the 5000 - John 6:26 (KJV) Jesus answered them and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled.
  • 3. "Miracle seekers" hindered His purpose. (Cf. Mark 1:45)

    QUESTION - What do you think of this statement, "Jesus wanted believers… people interested in the message… not just people looking for a handout?"

  • III. Morning (Mark 1:35-38)

  • A. Came Early (Mark 1:35)
  • QUESTION - Is it important for people to rise early? Why / why not?

    1. Early is better than later.

  • NOTE - It's amazing how many great people were early risers.
  • Gen 28:18 (KJV) And Jacob rose up early in the morning, and took the stone that he had put for his pillows, and set it up for a pillar, and poured oil upon the top of it.
  • 1 Sam 1:19 (KJV) And they rose up in the morning early, and worshipped before the LORD, and returned, and came to their house to Ramah: and Elkanah knew Hannah his wife; and the LORD remembered her.
  • 2 Chr 29:20 (KJV) Then Hezekiah the king rose early, and gathered the rulers of the city, and went up to the house of the LORD.
  • Job 1:5 (KJV) And it was so, when the days of their feasting were gone about, that Job sent and sanctified them, and rose up early in the morning, and offered burnt offerings according to the number of them all: for Job said, It may be that my sons have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts. Thus did Job continually.
  • Psa 57:8 (KJV) Awake up, my glory; awake, psaltery and harp: I myself will awake early.
  • QUESTION - Why was it important for Jesus to rise early?

    2. Prayer was more important than sleep.

  • Psa 5:3 (KJV) My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O LORD; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up.

    Psa 55:17 (KJV) Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice.

  • B. Meant Prayer (Mark 1:35)

  • 1. Jesus always prayed when decisions needed to be made.
  • QUESTION - What do you think of the following quote?

    QUOTE - "Mark selectively portrayed Jesus at prayer on three crucial occasions, each in a setting of darkness and aloneness: near the beginning of his account (vs. 35), near the middle (6:46), and near the end (14:32-42). All three were occasions when He was faced with the possibility of achieving His messianic mission in a more attractive, less costly way. But in each case He gained strength through prayer." (From The Bible Knowledge Commentary, pg. 110)

  • 2. Prayer is worth getting out of bed for.

  • Jer 33:3 (KJV) Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.

    Mat 7:7 (KJV) Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:

    John 14:14 (KJV) If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.

  • C. Brought Decision (Mark 1:38)

  • QUESTION - What decision did He arrive at? Does it make sense to you? Why / why not? Why do you think Jesus decided, in the face of overwhelming interesting and crowds thronging Him, to leave?

    1. No sense staying where His purpose could no longer be fulfilled.

  • QUESTION - According to verse 38, what was His purpose?
  • 2. People were not coming for the message, but for the miracles.

  • QUESTION - Does this happen today? How? What are some things people come to church for today, other than to hear the message of Christ?
  • 3. It was time to go where He could preach and teach. (Vs. 38)

  • Conclusion:

    Jesus plainly stated His purpose for us in verse 38. (Cf. Mark 1:14-15)

    Notice how each aspect in this Day in the Life of the Servant clearly pointed to His purpose:

  • In the afternoon:
  • In the evening:
  • In the morning:
  • How precious for us to get a glimpse of a Day in the life of the Savior. How wonderful to see how He spent an entire 24-hour period.

    One great truth leaps out at us when we study this day, though:

    Jesus' life was guided day and night by His mission… His purpose… His cause, which was to preach and teach His message to all who would hear. Everything else He did was simply to advance that cause.

    May we be as dedicated to the message of Christ as He was.

    And he said unto them, Let us go into the next towns, that I may preach there also: for therefore came I forth.

    Please direct questions, comments, and submissions to William E. Johnson
    Copyright 1997 William E. Johnson.