April 01, 2020

Jesus' Priorities

Mark 1:35-45

A man with leprosy . . . begged him . . . , “If you are willing, you can make me clean.” . . . “I am willing,” [Jesus] said.

—  Mark 1:40-41

In this episode near the beginning of Jesus’ ministry, Mark is showing that Jesus’ priorities are not the same as ours. People are looking all over for him, hoping to be healed. But Jesus knows that his main mission is to preach the kingdom of God. So he says, “Let us go somewhere else . . . so I can preach there also. That is why I have come.”

This may have confused Jesus’ disciples at times, and Christians today continue to be shocked by it—we understand that preaching is important, but our physical needs are so urgent. We want Jesus to meet our immediate needs first.

So, like the man with leprosy, we ask Jesus for healing. We may even come to Jesus with the same sentiment: “If you want to, you can make me clean.” And Jesus does say, “I am willing.”

Jesus wants to heal. But it isn’t his top priority—his top priority is letting everyone know his kingdom is coming. He has come to save the whole world! But that doesn’t mean he doesn’t care for us individually.

Sometimes Jesus heals us right away, and sometimes Jesus asks us to wait. But Jesus is ­always working to bring about his kingdom, where “there will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain” (Revelation 21:4).

Dear Jesus, we are in a world of pain. Only you can fix it. We long for you to heal our needs right now. Help us to long even more for the healing of the world. Amen.

About the author — Scott DeVries

Scott DeVries has served as a church pastor and as a ministry ­coordinator in the Holland, Michigan, area. He currently works at ­facilitating connections between the more than twenty ministries and 1,100 churches of the Christian Reformed Church in North America. He has a passion for prayer, church organization, and studying the Scriptures in their original languages.

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