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Mark 1:28-39

  

And immediately he left the synagogue and entered the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John. Now Simon's mother-in-law lay ill with a fever, and immediately they told him about her. And he came and took her by the hand and lifted her up, and the fever left her, and she began to serve them.

 

 That evening at sundown they brought to him all who were sick or oppressed by demons. And the whole city was gathered together at the door. And he healed many who were sick with various diseases, and cast out many demons. And he would not permit the demons to speak, because they knew him.

 

 And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed. And Simon and those who were with him searched for him, and they found him and said to him, "Everyone is looking for you." And he said to them, "Let us go on to the next towns, that I may preach there also, for that is why I came out." And he went throughout all Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and casting out demons. (ESV)

 

 

God's Sons Pray

Tuesday of Pentecost 2

9 June 2015

Jesus is God's Son. He is united in essence with His Father by reason of His nature as Godhead. And yet He still prays. If anyone had an excuse not to pray, if anyone had a reason to say that His Father was always with Him, Jesus did. If anyone could have claimed they prayed all the time, Jesus could have. Yet He never made those claims. The infallible and continual witness of God's Word is that Jesus prayed. He prayed often. He prayed regularly. He prayed at great length.

 

We who have a less intimate and united relationship with our Father have more reason to pray to our Father, not less. We should pray because Jesus, God's Son, prayed.

Why should we be so amazed that Jesus prayed to His Father? What Father does not want to hear His child talk to Him? Even the babbling of a baby is the language that a father wants to hear.

 

As we hear the baptismal liturgy used with an adult, we are sometimes troubled by the words that appear to be addressed to infants and small children. We wonder why there are not biblical texts more appropriate for adults. But what would such texts sound like? What would they be about? Would they talk of the great moral capacity of adults? Or the enormous strength of their spiritual will? Or about the good choices they make? Hardly! What Bible texts speak of such things? Biblical texts talk about our fallen nature. The heart of man is only evil continually, (Gn 6:5) etc.! The texts that talk about conversion are those that refer to us as little children, capable of nothing. At the font we confess that we are children of God. Who would want to be more than a child of God? What biblical text ever calls us "adults of God?" What's better than being a child of God? Christ's constant prayer is actually evidence of His unity with His Father and therefore of His full divinity and also our unity with our heavenly Father and His.

 

Jesus speaks to His Father in prayer just because He is the perfect Son. We are also made children of God in baptism; making the baptismal font the font of new life and the very font of prayer. As Jesus is God's Son, we are God's sons. Why pray? God's Son prays, and therefore God's sons pray.

 

Leo the Great

 

"When 'in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself' (2Co 5:19) and the Creator Himself was wearing the creature which was to be restored to the image of its Creator; and after the divinely miraculous works had been performed, the performance of which the spirit of prophecy had once predicted, 'Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped; then shall the lame man leap like a deer, and the tongue of the mute sing for joy' (Is 35:5-6). Jesus knowing that the time was now come for the fulfillment of His glorious passion, said, 'My soul is sorrowful even unto death;' and again, 'Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me' (Mt 26:39). And these words, expressing a certain fear, showing His desire to heal our weaknesses by sharing them, and to check our fear of enduring pain by undergoing it.

 

"In our nature, therefore, the Lord trembled with our fear, that He might fully clothe our weakness and our frailty with the completeness of His own strength. For He had come into this world a rich and merciful merchant from the skies, and by a wondrous exchange had entered into a bargain of salvation with us, receiving ours and giving His; honor for insults, salvation for pain, life for death. The One, who more than 12,000 of the angelic host might have served to destroy His persecutors, preferred to entertain our fears, rather than employ His own power."

Leo the Great, Sermons, 54.4
 
Prayer

Lord Jesus Christ, You prayed often and at great length to Your Father. Send us Your Spirit that we too might assail the throne of grace as God's sons in You. Keep us from the unbelief that presumes that prayer does nothing or is simply an internal conversation. Hear our prayer! Amen.

 

For Holly and James Cokinos, who have been given a healthy child, Theodore George, that both mother and child would be kept in the caring arms of Jesus and that the child would be brought to the new birth by baptism soon

 

For President Matthew Harrison and Vice President Herbert Mueller, that they might be kept safe in their travels to district conventions across the country

 

For Ellen Brda, who will be undergoing knee replacement surgery this week, that the Physician of body and soul would grant her the gift of full and complete healing
Art: Dürer, Albrecht  The Adoration of the Trinity (1515) 

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