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Mark Pt 8: That's The Way To Do It

The Gospel of Mark  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  35:37
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Who here remembers Punch and Judy, I sure there are many who can remember back to childhood, where trips to the seaside would of inevitably contained a visit with Punch and Judy.
Mr. Punch made his first recorded appearance in England on 9 May 1662, which is traditionally reckoned as Punch's UK birthday.
The show was originally intended for adults, but it changed into primarily a children's entertainment in the late Victorian era.
Ancient members of the show's cast ceased to be included, such as the Devil and Punch's mistress "Pretty Polly," when they came to be seen as inappropriate for young audiences.
The story changes, but some phrases remain the same for decades or even centuries.
Can you remember Punch’s catchphrase? That's the way to do it! shouted as he dispatches his foes off the stage with a whack of his stick!
Well, As we read these passages of scripture this morning I want us to focus in on the example left to us by the Lord Jesus, his example is certainly the way to do things
Lets read,
Mark 1:35–39 KJV 1900
35 And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed. 36 And Simon and they that were with him followed after him. 37 And when they had found him, they said unto him, All men seek for thee. 38 And he said unto them, Let us go into the next towns, that I may preach there also: for therefore came I forth. 39 And he preached in their synagogues throughout all Galilee, and cast out devils.
So, what things can we learn from our Master this morning in these passages of scripture?
Well firstly Jesus shows us...

1. The Place of Prayer

Mark 1:35 KJV 1900
35 And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed.
So Jesus after what one can only describe as an extremely busy day before, the whole city encamped at the door want to be healed. Jesus would be well within his rights to have the day off, or at least have a lie in!
I know when it come to Monday I am drained, Sunday takes its toil, and I try my best to have an easy day on Mondays I really do.
Here though we find Jesus setting a different example
A. Firstly lets think of his Dedication
“Morning” - The Greek word is PROI(proee) meaning early morning.
It refers here to the last watch of the Night, the 24 hour period of 1 day was always divided into watches by the Jewish people in the Old Testament. The Hebrew watch began at sun set and continued through the night. This was the way God worked in creation, and the Jews stuck to this formula. There were only three original watches in the Old Testament, each of four hours, commencing at sunset.
The Beginning Watch ran from 6pm- 10pm
Lamentations 2:19 KJV 1900
19 Arise, cry out in the night: in the beginning of the watches Pour out thine heart like water before the face of the Lord: Lift up thy hands toward him for the life of thy young children, That faint for hunger in the top of every street.
The Middle Watch ran from 10pm - 2am
Judges 7:19 KJV 1900
19 So Gideon, and the hundred men that were with him, came unto the outside of the camp in the beginning of the middle watch; and they had but newly set the watch: and they blew the trumpets, and brake the pitchers that were in their hands.
The Morning Watch ran from 2am -6am
Exodus 14:24 KJV 1900
24 And it came to pass, that in the morning watch the Lord looked unto the host of the Egyptians through the pillar of fire and of the cloud, and troubled the host of the Egyptians,
When we get to the new testament we find the Romans ruling the roost and they work to four watches not 3:
The First Watch ran 6am-9pm
The Second Watch 9pm - 12am
The Third Watch 12am - 3am
The Fourth Watch 3am - 6am
It’s the fourth watch of the night Jesus walks on the water, which is important in setting the scene when we get to that account in a few Chapters on in Mark.
Matthew 14:25 KJV 1900
25 And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea.
Its the fourth watch Jesus has arisen to go to prayer. This is the Lords dedication to prayer.
Challenge - I wonder are we as dedicated as our master was?
B. Then Secondly think about his Determination
“rising” - means to rise up to take action - there was purpose - he did just get up for getting ups sake, he had a determined fixed purpose - he was getting up to pray!
“went out” - he got out of the house away from all the distractions to focus his time to prayer.
Jesus was a man on a mission, he was determined to get to pryer first thing and have no distractions at all, he was prioritising and focusing his time God the Father.
C. The Thirdly think about his Destination
we are told that Jesus “departed to a solitary place” that word solitary is EREMOS(ereemoss) in the Greek which means wilderness or desert, uninhabited place.
So Christ chose a place that he could truly have a quiet time. Time alone with God
Challenge - Christians we need to follow this example, we need to find that solitary place we can go to with regularity to the Lord, away from the distractions of life!
D. Fourthly think about his Desperation
he “prayed” the word in the Greek is PROCEUCHOMAI(prosekhomay)
EUCHOMA)(ekhomay) means to pray to God
PROS is a prefixed proposition meaning towards.
When Jesus prayed he earnestly focussed his prayer towards God not himself, he was desperate for this time with the father, he needed it.
After a busy day of service and with only a few hours sleep, Jesus felt the need for inner refreshment through renewed fellowship with the Father. His example is a standing challenge to us.
Donald G Barnhouse comments: “If Jesus in His great power and oneness with God could feel the urgent necessity of communion with the Father, how much more you and I need to go to the Father for the strength that fills our weakness and the knowledge that fills our ignorance.… Prayer brings us into a fellowship with God that nothing else can provide.” Donald Grey Barnhouse, Mark: The Servant Gospel, p. 32. D. Edmond Hiebert, The Gospel of Mark: An Expositional Commentary (Greenville, SC: Bob Jones University Press, 1994).
We see from this one verse of scripture the place of prayer in Jesus’s life, he had prayer as a priority and we would do well to make it so in our lives also.
Transition - then as we move along we see just as Jesus was deperate for prayer with the Father, the disciples and the people were desperate for Christ, but for all the wrong reasons! Let’s look then at...

2. The Phoniness of People

Mark 1:36–37 KJV 1900
36 And Simon and they that were with him followed after him. 37 And when they had found him, they said unto him, All men seek for thee.
Now we read that Jesus’s quiet time is going to be interrupted, for Simon and others are about to burst onto the scene.
“Followed” that carries a stronger sense that we would take from the english word. Again looking at the underlying Greek brings forth the sense, for it means to hunt down or to pursue, they literally hunted Jesus down. It reflects the anxiety of these men before they found him
Why were they so desperate, so anxious? Well they had woken up, maybe been startled by the crowds drawing again outside, they look out the window and the numbers are growing and growing, the townsfolk are ready for some more miracles, quick get Jesus, wake him up, he has work to do, got to give the people what they want! Give hem a shout there Simon.
Jesus, Jesus, time to get up, we need you! time to perform!!- but no answer comes, no voice of reassurance saying “don’t worry guys, I’m here, I will sort this” nothing comes back, now the stress sets in, now the panic comes upon them, where is he, where has he gone, what are we going to do, ‘Lets find him goes the cry, he can’t have gone far’
So off they go to hunt down the Lord, and finally then find him and burst into his quiet time, panting and puffing from their desperate search , and cry out
“All men seek for thee” Jesus where have you been? What are you doing? Don’t you know its healing time!!!!
The disciples had got carried away, you see they got caught up in the moment, the crowds and the wants of the people. Luke tells us the wanted to keep him
Luke 4:42 KJV 1900
42 And when it was day, he departed and went into a desert place: and the people sought him, and came unto him, and stayed him, that he should not depart from them.
Jesus however knew the hearts of men, and he knew the people wanted him just because of his miracles, not because of his words.
They wanted what he could offer, they wanted to use him, the desire for him was false, it was phoney and Jesus saw right through it. The disciple had missed it but Jesus didn't miss it
Transition - Jesus, shows us the Priority of prayer, the Phoniness of the people and finally reiterates

3. The Primacy of Preaching

Mark 1:38–39 KJV 1900
38 And he said unto them, Let us go into the next towns, that I may preach there also: for therefore came I forth. 39 And he preached in their synagogues throughout all Galilee, and cast out devils.
The Gospel of Mark: An Expositional Commentary a. Departure from Capernaum (vv. 35–39)

Christ’s main activity was preaching. Jesus centered His work in the synagogue, not in the marketplaces, indicating that His was a religious rather than a political or economic ministry. The other activity mentioned is exorcising, the only type of miracle referred to in this summary. The next paragraph makes it clear that healings did occur, but the casting out of demons was the outstanding feature of the work. Jesus’ work always brought Him into victorious conflict with these evil powers and demonstrated that the establishment of the kingdom of God meant the overthrow of the kingdom of Satan.

Christ’s main purpose was preaching, That was what he came for, he came to preach the good news, to call sinners to repentance
As yet, the disciples still didn’t have even the faintest understanding of His method, His message, or His mission!
How many today though still don’t get what Jesus was about, holding the miracles above the message!!!
Jesus came to preach the good news of his coming kingdom
Mark 1:14–15 KJV 1900
14 Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, 15 And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.
His ultimate purpose was not heal people physically but to save them from sin and eternal judgement.
When Christ met the physical needs it was a demonstration of his power and compassion, but his purpose was to preach the word so that people would respond to the light given and turn to God and cry for salvation
The miracles validated who he was they authenticated his Gospel message but they did not save anybody, It was the preaching that did that work
Romans 10:14 KJV 1900
14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?
Romans 10:17 KJV 1900
17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
The miracles had a place in Jesus’ ministry but aleways secondary to the praching of the Gospel to the proclaiming of Gods word! That’s were it shas gone so wrong today, with miracles elevated over the message, come and get healed, not come hear the word of God, not come drink of the living water!
You ever here people quote Isaiah 53:5 when talking about physical healing
Isaiah 53:5 KJV 1900
5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: The chastisement of our peace was upon him; And with his stripes we are healed.
To use this scripture in reference to physical healing to absolutely butcher the context and is evermore outrageous because we are dealing with the very core of the Gospel message, we are dealing with the atonement.
To say this is referring to physical healing is put Christ to death so that you could experience a cure for your cold, or your flu!
Christ didn't die for sickness, he died for Sin! your sin and my sin, the wrath of God poured out upon the innocent lamb, our substitute, so that we could be right with God
1 Peter 2:24 KJV 1900
24 Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.
Jesus came to seek and save that which was lost
Luke 19:10 KJV 1900
10 For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.
That was his mission,, to save the lost by the preaching of the word!
Conclusion
The Lord Jesus in his earthly ministry is at all times setting us the ultimate example.
He shows us the Priority of Prayer.
Jesus made prayer his first stop, he shows the way and we should follow-
Find a solitary place
Get away from distractions
Be purposeful and focussed in your prayer
Be desperate for it
He Reveals the Phoniness of People
They want out of selfish desires
Its a false worship, for its worship of self not the saviour
They miss the message, as they focus on the miracles
He Sets the Primacy of Preaching
Its the word that saves
Thats was Christ’s mission and it should be ours to share the Gospel
We should put his word above all
Give it the importance it requires and deserves
What an example set by the Lord, I wonder are we following his example and by extension setting an example to others?
1 Corinthians 11:1 KJV 1900
1 Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.
Years ago, the communist government in China commissioned a biography of Hudson Taylor the great missionary to China, with the purpose of distorting the facts and presenting him in a bad light. They wanted to discredit the name of this consecrated missionary of the Gospel. However, as the author was doing his research, he was increasingly impressed by Taylor’s saintly character and godly life, and he found it extremely difficult to carry out his assigned task with a clear conscience. Eventually, at the risk of losing his life, he laid aside his pen, renounced atheism, and gave his heart to God. 
Whether we realise it or not, our example leaves an impression on others! I wonder this morning are we following Christ’s example, because that’s surely the way to do it!
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