~ circa A.D. 40, a campfire outside Antioch of Syria. Simon Peter is relating a story to a small group…the hour is getting late.
“Oh, that was a Sabbath day to remember. The Lord had taught in the synagogue, and it was so wonderful as always. Everyone loved to hear Him speak. He always made it so interesting. Even when you didn’t understand Him, it was interesting. And He never had a moment’s hesitation about anything He said. He was so different than anyone else who had ever brought the message in Synagogue.
“Then that demon spoke up, and challenged him. It scared us all, and no one there would forget what it called Him: “the Holy One of God.” What did that mean? And now, all eyes were fixed on the Lord. What would He do? But Jesus dealt quickly, quieting the demon and commanding it to come out; and out it came, just like that. What power He had! And all the people were talking about Him.
“Well, it was about lunchtime then, so Andrew and I invited the Lord back to the house. And when we got home my wife’s mother was nowhere to be found. And then we found her – on the bed, burning up from a fever.
“So we told Jesus. And He came in, took her hand, and immediately, it was as if she had never been sick. And right then, she got up, and made us lunch.
“Well, then, after the Sabbath was over, at sundown the people came. One after another, they came, some crippled, some with a fever like my mother-in-law, others with leprosy and different skin diseases. They came…and they kept coming. It was as if the whole town was at the door. And until late that night, He healed them…every one.
“So, of course, the next day I slept in. I was so tired, and so was everyone else. Everyone, that is, except Jesus. And do you know why? Because He never missed a time of prayer. Never. It didn’t matter how late He had been up, He would always say, ‘I had to be with my Father!’
“But we didn’t know His practices back then. We were just getting to know Him, so we looked and looked, until we found him in a deserted place. Now, you know we had planned to go back to my house for another day of healing. You see, we knew the word was going to get around, and we knew the crowds would be coming. But something had happened during His prayer time. Somehow, He just knew – He knew that we had to leave Capernaum that day. There were other places to go, He said, and He had to preach there also.
“‘After all,’ He said, ‘That is why I have come.'”
Tomorrow, Tuesday, April 14: Mark 2