Jesus’ Priorities

21 May 2017 AM – Mark 1:35-39 – Mr17 – Scott Childs

Introduction: A priority is something you do first because it is important to you. We all have priorities. What are your priorities?

Jesus had two priorities that stand out in our text this morning.

Transition: As we examine Jesus’ priorities, I want us to see that His priorities ought to be our priorities as well.

1.        Jesus’ First Priority was Prayer

We find in verses 35-36 three facts that show us that Jesus’ prayer time was a priority in His life.

The 1st fact that shows us that Jesus’ prayer time was a priority is that …

a.         He lost sleep to pray
1)         The original words used here tell us that Jesus got up exceedingly early while it was still night (between 3 and 6 a.m.) to pray.
2)         It appears that this was Sunday morning following the Saturday Sabbath when Jesus had cast out the demon in the Synagogue and then spent the evening hours healing the sick and casting out more demons on Peter’s front porch there in Capernaum. After that long and exhausting day of preaching and ministering to the sick, Jesus still got up extremely early to pray. We know that prayer was a priority to Him because it cost him hours of sleep.
3)         Luke records that prayer was a continual habit of Jesus. (Luke 5:16) “And he withdrew GK: withdrew often himself into the wilderness, and prayed.”
4)         At times Jesus even prayed all night long. (Luke 6:12) “And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God.”
5)         If prayer was a great need in Jesus’ life, it certainly is a great need in your life and mine.
6)         Do as Jesus did. Set your alarm clock earlier than usual so that you can spend a quality time in prayer with the Lord each morning before your work begins. Make it a priority!
The 2nd fact that shows us that Jesus’ prayer time was a priority is that …

b.         He found a solitary place to pray
1)         Jesus did not just pray while He was lying in bed. He went out, leaving the comforts of Peter’s house. He left the others who were still sleeping.
2)         Jesus then found a solitary place. This refers to a deserted place or a place that is uninhabited. He found a quiet place where He could be all alone.
a)         He often sought out private locations to pray. (Luke 9:18) “And it came to pass, as he was alone praying, his disciples were with him: and he asked them, saying, Whom say the people that I am?”
b)         At times His quiet place was in a mountain. (Mark 6:46) “And when he had sent them away, he departed into a mountain to pray.” (Luke 9:28) “And it came to pass about an eight days after these sayings, he took Peter and John and James, and went up into a mountain to pray.”
c)         Even in the Garden of Gethsemane, He prayed a distance from his disciples. (Matthew 26:36) “Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder.”
3)         Jesus taught His disciple to enter into a private place like a closet to pray. (Matthew 6:6) “But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.” Praying in a solitary place aids concentration and limits interruptions.
4)         Make it a priority in your prayer time to find a quiet solitary place to pray.
The 3rd fact that shows us that Jesus’ prayer time was a priority is that …

c.          He prayed for a long time.
1)         We do not know what time Jesus actually got up, but it was a great while before day.
2)         His prayer was not just a “Now I lay me down to sleep” prayer or “God bless the missionaries” prayer. He talked to the Father about many things and received strength.
3)         God is not interested in long showy prayers. In fact Jesus later condemned the Scribes for this practice. (Mark 12:40) “Which devour widows’ houses, and for a pretence make long prayers: these shall receive greater damnation.” God is looking for sincerity.
4)         God desires that we spend quality time with Him in prayer. We must spend more than 5-10 minutes a day in prayer if it is truly the priority it should be in our lives.
O  Let’s make prayer a priority in our lives!

2.        Jesus’ Second Priority was Preaching

We find in verses 37-39 three descriptions that show us that Jesus’ preaching was a priority in His life.

The 1st description that shows us that Jesus’ preaching was a priority is that …

a.         It was focused.
1)         In the morning, Peter, Andrew, James and John went out looking for Jesus. When they found Him praying, their first words were “All men are seeking you.” Evidently, they liked the excitement of the miracles and the praise of men. Note how Jesus responded to them.
2)         He said we should be going to the next towns that I may preach there also. Jesus was not primarily a miracle worker. He was a preacher! He had the message of salvation to tell the world.
3)         The word “preach” means to herald, proclaim or to publish. Jesus’ preaching was focused on sharing the Gospel with people. It was not focused on impressing the multitudes or becoming a celebrity.
4)         The focus of our church needs to be on preaching. Witnessing is a type of preaching. Every Christian ought to make it a priority to help to get the Gospel out to the lost world. We will learn more on evangelism this evening.
The 2nd description that shows us that Jesus’ preaching was a priority is that …

b.         It was instructive.
1)         Jesus preached Bible truth. As we just said, preaching is proclaiming the Gospel to the lost.
2)         We learned earlier that Jesus’ preaching was so clear and Holy Spirit empowered that the people were astonished at His doctrine (Mr 1:22). Jesus’ sermons did not entertain, they taught and brought conviction.
3)         On the road to Emmaus Jesus preached to two of His followers. As He did, their hearts burned within them. He explained the scriptures clearly to them.
4)         In many churches today preaching has been watered down to keep it from offending. Entertainment and carnal music has replaced much of the preaching to please the crowds. That is not right!
5)         If our priorities are going to be like Jesus’ priorities, we must preach the Word. (2 Timothy 4:2) “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.”
The 3rd description that shows us that Jesus’ preaching was a priority is that …

c.          It was dutiful.
1)         Jesus said that preaching the Gospel was one reason He came into this world (v.38).
2)         He knew the urgency of preaching and His mission to preach. Therefore, He determined to fulfil His duty and preach in all the towns of Israel. Unbelievers needed to hear the Gospel before they could believe it. (Romans 10:14) “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?” This is urgent because those who do not believe will be doomed. (2 Thessalonians 1:8) “In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:”
O  Let’s make preaching the Gospel a priority in our lives.

Conclusion: Two of Jesus’ priorities in life were to pray and to preach the Gospel. If you are a Christian, these ought to be priorities in your life as well. If they are not, I challenge you to adjust your priorities. Praying and preaching are far more important than most things that crowd them out of our lives.

Song: Teach Me Thy Way, O Lord – 337