The solitary place: Mark 1:35 – 37

We’re in Capernaum. It is really early on in the ministry of Jesus. We’re reading the account which was written by the Apostle Mark, which almost certainly recounts the memories of a man called Peter. Simon Peter. In this passage he’s simply called Simon.

I love the idea of Jesus waking up early, before everyone else in the house was awake, and creeping out. It’s such a moment of sheer humanity. Walking out of the town Jesus went to a quiet place.  He went there to pray. He went there to find space. Space with God.

Mark’s account tells us that when they discovered Jesus had gone, not everyone was happy. Simon was not happy. They went to look for him. They found him. “Everyone is looking for you” says Simon. Let’s be honest, it has the hint of exasperation about it. “Jesus,” it sounds like, “What are you doing? Everyone’s looking for you!”

Jesus went somewhere quiet to spend time with God. To be apart with God. He has been still. You’ll recognise the sense of the contemplative. And now he’s ready to go. Go to the villages to preach the Kingdom of God. You’ll recognise the sense of the evangelical.

I’m trying to follow Jesus. I am a contemplative evangelical. Some people think that is a challenging combination. So did Simon Peter. 

Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place where he prayed. Simon and his companions went to look for him, and when they found him they exclaimed, “Everyone is looking for you!” Jesus replied, “Let us go somewhere else – to the nearby villages – so that I can preach there also,

Mark 1: 35-38

Richard Jackson is the former Executive Director of Christian charity Family Foundations Trust, and an international coach for CCI Worldwide

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