by J. Randal Matheny
In a single day, Jesus managed to do so much. Here’s a rundown of his activities on one busy day, from Mark 1:21-39. (Please read it now.)
Public and Private Ministry
Jesus, as was his custom on the sabbath, went into the synagogue to be with God’s people and have his thoughts directed toward the Father. He taught there, and the people were amazed at his authority.
Jesus not only had a public ministry, he later went to Simon and Andrew’s home. Possibly he was staying there. But he was not a burdensome guest; rather, he ministered by healing Simon’s mother-in-law.
In one day, Jesus performed both public and private ministry, or as Paul would later call it, publicly and from house to house.
Preaching and Helping
While in the synagogue teaching, Jesus was interrupted by an evil spirit who had possessed a man. Jesus could have frozen or zapped him for interfering, but he felt compassion on the victim and released him from his pain.
Thus, Jesus wasn’t a talking head, but a serving neighbor. Not bad for a single day.
Giving and Receiving
Jesus was a man who spent much of his time among the crowds. In the synagogue, as we saw. After sunset that same day, when normally it would have been time to rest, Jesus attended the whole town who brought their sick and demon-possessed.
Early the next morning, Jesus got up to go be with his Father. He gave to the crowds; now he needed to receive strength from time with Father. He wasn’t about to face another day without recharging, without focusing on his relationship with the Father.
Interruptions and Priorities
Time-planners could take a cue from Christ. Jesus welcomed interruptions. The synagogue scene made him content to serve. A sick mother-in-law was for him an opportunity. Night-time queues of sick didn’t catch him grumbling that his supper was getting cold. For Jesus, interruptions meant meeting people’s needs and pointing them to the greatest need of all.
At the same time, Jesus established his priority and carried out his plans in order to reflect that priority. When the disciples wanted more of the same for the next day, Jesus pressed on to the next towns, not to heal, but to preach. “That is why I came,” he told them. While he was content with the interruptions, he did not let those sidetrack him from his objective.
Just as He Walked
Jesus did much. Even for a single day. In 24 hours, he was able to work with crowds and folk at home. With the rising and setting of the sun, he both taught and, as we’d put it, did benevolence. He made time for giving and for receiving. Nor did his agenda exclude interruptions, but he didn’t let those divert him from his main task.
I too have 24 hours in the day. And walking like Christ, I can do what he did.
One day at a time. Every day.
Jesus did so much in a single day; we can, too.