Today is the wonderful 8th day of January. It is the best time to spend a few minutes with the Lord in our personal prayer. Right now, this minute, stop and remember in prayer that Jesus is the gift of faith for you. And the daily devotional is very helpful for that.
Devotional for Today January 8
We continue our daily meditation with the Word of God. Today we read from the Gospel of Mark.
As soon as they left the synagogue, they went with James and John to the home of Simon and Andrew. Simon’s mother-in-law was in bed with a fever, and they immediately told Jesus about her. So he went to her, took her hand and helped her up. The fever left her and she began to wait on them.
That evening after sunset the people brought to Jesus all the sick and demon-possessed. The whole town gathered at the door, and Jesus healed many who had various diseases. He also drove out many demons, but he would not let the demons speak because they knew who he was. (Mark 1:29-34)
A short but informative text. We learn about the daily life of Jesus and the disciples. It seems that the home of the Apostle Peter’s mother-in-law was the place where Jesus and his disciples liked to stay. The hostess was delighted with these visits and was happy to entertain guests.
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We also learn that the Apostle Peter was married. Although he had given up his fishing trade when he began his mission as an itinerant preacher with Jesus, he did not abandon his family and kept in close contact.
We also get to know Jesus better. As a man of God, he goes into the crowds, heals the sick, heals the wounds within, and heals the consequences of sin. Jesus sees the misery and need of the people. He is a comfort to the sick and abandoned.
But if anyone tries to see in Jesus only a teacher and a healer, he knows the person of Jesus very incompletely and imperfectly.
Notice that Jesus forbids demons to speak. Why? Because, as spiritual beings, they immediately understand who Jesus is. They immediately start screaming in a panic.
Likewise, in the eighth chapter of Mark’s Gospel, Jesus forbids Peter to tell anyone that he is the Messiah.
Jesus does this because he doesn’t want to be promoted like a superstar or an influencer. That would detract from the point.
People would come, not for an encounter with God, not for the forgiveness of sins. They would come to see a famous person and take a selfie with him. That would be absurd.
Jesus does not want his mission to be relegated to the level of this worthless show.
In other words, Jesus does not want to give people ready-made answers. Jesus wants people to be provoked to ask questions, to search for answers, and to discover the answers themselves. He wants people’s faith to be real.
Jesus often withdraws from the crowds to a secluded place and goes to pray in solitude. He does not want to provoke any political movement or enthusiasm from the crowd. So Jesus is looking first and foremost for a genuine, responsible faith that allows God’s grace to pour into life.
Jesus goes into a crowd of people and his task is to preach, to speak, to encourage those who are far from God to draw near to him. He goes to proclaim the faith.
Jesus is the gift of faith. Seek Jesus and you will find faith. Receive the gift of faith from the hands of Jesus.
Prayer for Today
Lord Jesus, no matter what spiritual state we are in today, let us feel your nearness. Perhaps today we have a holy mindset and a determination to follow you. But perhaps today we are tired, or even under the power of sin. Wherever we are, do not abandon us, but take us by the hand today and lead us. We believe in you, Jesus, and we trust in you. You are our strength. Amen.