Scripture: Mark 1:14-45
Observation: From calling his first disciples to casting out demons to performing many miracles, we see the beginning of Jesus’s public ministry.
Application: In a world filled with evil and hurt and unimaginable pain, I find myself drawn more and more to the small acts of kindness that bind humanity together. A tear shed for someone we don’t know, a hand out to someone who needs it, a kind word, a pleading prayer, a silent vigil – all of these small moments that rarely get attention show us that there is always light in the darkness.
When I read this chapter, I’m struck by how Jesus is light in the darkness, in the most human of ways. Jesus was incredibly powerful – in this section alone, he cast out a demon, healed his friend’s mother-in-law, and healed a man with leprosy. But despite his ability to heal and perform miracles, he stayed incredibly in touch with humanity -- and with the people behind the miracles.
He didn’t just heal Peter’s mother-in-law; Mark writes that he “went to her bedside, took her by the hand, and helped her sit up.” What a small, simple act – a healing touch.
When the man with leprosy asks Jesus if he’s is willing to heal him, Mark writes that Jesus was “moved with compassion.” What a small, simple act – a compassionate heart for someone in need.
He wasn’t looking for fame or attention; in fact, when he healed the man with leprosy, he said, “Don’t tell anyone about this.” What a small, simple act – selfless humility.
Jesus’s life was filled with small, simple acts – a healing touch, a compassionate heart, a humble attitude. He felt, he loved, he healed, and he served – and he did it all while actively avoiding the spotlight and the attention of others.
When we look at our own lives, are they filled with small, simple acts? Are we humble? Are we so moved by people’s stories and needs that we’d stop and love them like Jesus did? Are we always offering someone a hand and helping them up? Are we ready to conquer the darkness by being light in the lives of those around us?
When we feel and love and heal and serve, the people around us are better. So often, we think we need some special superpower to make a difference, but the truth is we simply need to harness the power we already have inside of us, the power of Jesus Christ.
Prayer: God, I pray for the ability to live a life of small, simple acts. I pray that I can feel and love and heal and serve, all with an attitude of selfless humility like Jesus modeled for us. I pray you’ll give me a heart to avoid the spotlight, to never try to promote my own accomplishments but instead to give you all of the glory. Amen.