Thursday, February 4, 2021

Friday prior to Epiphany 5


Mark 1:29–39—The Epiphany—manifestation— of our Lord continues as Jesus makes known who He is by demonstrating His authority.

Last week, Jesus showed that He has authority over the unclean spirits; this week, He demonstrates His authority also over sickness and disease. He does His proper work, delivering people from the effects of sin. By healing diseases and casting out demons, He foreshadows His eventual defeat of the power of sin and the devil by His death at Calvary.

Everyone searches for Jesus because He heals all kinds of diseases. Jesus begins His public ministry with healing both physical and mental illnesses. He does not allow the demons to reveal His divine identity. This is a messianic secret until, at the cross, the centurion confesses Jesus as the Son of God. Several of the Disciples want Jesus to return to Capernaum from His place of prayer to heal, but Jesus wants to move on to other areas of Galilee.

Did Jesus heal the woman to get service from her? At once Peter’s mother-in-law got busy waiting on them – a meal perhaps? It was a normal response to being helped and healed. Service is the result of gratitude for service rendered. Service flowing from love is service with love and a smile.

Strange, isn’t it that only the demons know who Jesus was? Jesus ordered them to keep silence as to His identity. He wanted the people to discover for themselves who He was. The secret was revealed at Calvary when the Centurion saw He was the Son of God.

The Disciples told Jesus that everyone was searching for Him in Capernaum because of His healing. Would that it were true that all people were searching for Jesus! And searching for Him for the right reason! They wanted Him as a healer only. Jesus says He came not primarily to heal but to preach – “that is why I came out.

Today we pray – For the preaching of the holy cross of our Lord Jesus Christ and for the spread of His knowledge throughout the whole world; for the persecuted and oppressed; for the sick and dying.

O almighty God, You have shown Your faithfulness by raising up those in every generation who call Your Church to repentance and renewal. Continue to raise up voices in our own day who herald the truth of Your Word and proclaim the faith in purity and truth against all enemies.

Everlasting Father, You do not desire the death of the sinner but want all to come to faith and life in Christ. Raise up faithful pastors who will preach Your Word without fail and teach the doctrine delivered to the saints, that many may hear and believe.

Merciful Lord, Your Word has been the light and salvation throughout the ages. Help us to bring Your grace to those in darkness, and grant them freedom through the forgiveness of their sins. Bless the missionaries serving far and near and the new congregations they establish in Your name.

Give to the sick healing, to the suffering relief, to the grieving hope and to the dying peace. Hear us especially on behalf of those who we remember this day. Sustain us in the day of trial, deliver us from all our enemies of body and soul, and keep us steadfast in the day of trouble.[1]

[1] Prayers from the Commission on Worship © The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod

No comments: