“Very early, while it was still night, Jesus got up and went out to a deserted place where He prayed,”Mark 1:35.
The first chapter of Mark begins with the fast-paced adventure story of Jesus’ ministry on earth. To make sure readers know who he’s writing about, Mark makes a bold statement: “Here’s the beginning of the Good News about Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God,” Mark 1:1.
Mark backs up his statement by backing up a bit to quote Malachi 3:1 and Isaiah 40:3 from the Septuagint (ancient Greek text of Holy Scripture.)
Both of those prophets had prophesized the coming of the Prophet, John the Baptist. So, before going on with his story about Jesus, Mark quickly describes how John looked and what he ate! That seems like meandering, but the description clearly shows that John the Baptist looked and acted like other Jewish prophets sent by God.
The action speeds up as Mark highlights this sequence of events:
John the Baptist baptized Jesus.
The Holy Spirit came upon Jesus like a dove.
Some heard the Voice of God saying, “This is My beloved Son in Whom I am well-pleased.”
Immediately after the baptism, The Holy Spirit shepherded Jesus into a deserted wilderness.
God allowed Satan to tempt Jesus for 40 days and 40 nights – almost six weeks!
Angels took care of Jesus.
Since angels are messengers of God, they may have brought Jesus a special delivery message.
John the Baptist got arrested.
After John’s arrest, Jesus began to preach, teach, and heal.
Jesus asked people to repent (turn back) from their sinful ways and choices.
Jesus asked people to believe in God again.
Jesus chose followers to become His closest friends.
Jesus attended local synagogues where He taught.
Jesus cast out demonic spirits.
Jesus healed a family member of one of His closest followers.
Jesus healed many people of illness in body, mind, or spirit.
Jesus got up early and went out by Himself to pray in a quiet place.
With so much going on in this breathless story, this prayer time comes like a stop sign! So, why did Jesus stop the action to pray? We need quiet prayer times to regain strength, but did Jesus?
The Almighty God had fathered Jesus, and surely the Son of God would want to talk with His Heavenly Father.
Doesn’t every loving child want to talk to a loving parent?
Elsewhere the Bible lets us know that Jesus talked with His human mother, Mary, too.
Because of that human side, Jesus also had flesh and blood. He got tired like we do. And look at His schedule! Who could keep up such a mentally, physically, and spiritually taxing pace without taking time to rest, to pray?
After that quiet time alone with God in prayer, the action begins again.
Mark then ends the first chapter of his Gospel (Good News) by reporting that Jesus traveled around the whole area, teaching, preaching, healing, and casting out demons.
And people kept coming to Jesus for help.
And Jesus, the Son of God, kept going to His Heavenly Father in prayer.