Rise upon the light of the earth You made to spin in the retinas of Your eyes’ focus. Showcase Your love on the flowers that wait for the morning dew. The light of the world dawns when you tell it to. Your heart awakens with fervor the moment You paint it true with a watercolor sunrise in Your eyes. It’s still dark outside at this time of the morning but Jesus is shining on the earth that awakens in tandem with the sighting. They want to see Him. The Lamb of God. They know who He is. The Lamb of God. They need to feel Him. The Lamb of God whom the earth once touch down on their land at the beginning. The Garden of Eden remembers His touch. His pure touch.
Now Jesus prepares for the day ahead, not forgetting the most crucial moment of His day. His connection with Heaven in the secret place. Here He talks to His Father, and His Father listens, understands Him, soothes Him, reminds Him who He is. He knows who He is. But the Father is a part of His essence and even on the earth, Jesus still needs Him to thrive. Jesus propels forward with eagerness because of His times spent in intimacy with the Father nourishing His heart to overflowing. Now He can move with momentum to touch the hearts of His Beloved people.
The Marks of Jesus we will talk about in today’s study.
Verse 35: Up
Verse 36: Search
Verse 37: Found
Verse 38: Momentum
Verse 39: Travel
This week in Marked by Jesus: Mark 1:35-39, we glimpse a behind the scenes look at Jesus’ life and ministry as he starts his day. It’s early morning and Jesus rises early for a reason, to spend time in prayer and intercession. Will see how this important time of seclusion allows for Jesus to proceed with the rest of His day. Once the disciples see He is missing, they go to look for Him immediately, reminding us that Jesus’ presence is needed and wanted at all times. They wanted Jesus with them. So they search for Him and find Him. Then He departs and moves forward in this day’s mission. The progression of alone time, disciple-time, and people-time marks His ministry. Jesus wakes up early on purpose so that He does not miss time that could be spent with His people. He is alert to His own needs and theirs. He understands His Father’s desire to commune with Him and His disciples’ desire to commune with Him, and He does all of it. That’s why He is the King of the universe. Thank You, Jesus, for how You love us with all of you… not holding anything back.
Verse 35: The Mark of Up
“Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, He got up, went out, and made His way to a deserted place. And He was praying there.”
Up up and away! He lifts me high when His eyes are ablaze. Zeal overtakes. Fire escalates. A tree levitates. Rocking in the quake of a rose for His taste.
He keeps the wood coming. Trees towering. Globe spinning. Earth bursting. Fire burning.
“Without wood a fire goes out.” Proverbs 26:20
Our fire never burns out.
Fun fact: God makes the deserts shake.
“The voice of the Lord shakes the desert; the Lord shakes the Desert of Kadesh.” Psalm 29:8
Can you get up?
“Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, He got up.” Mark 1:35
You know how to get up. You’ve got the moves. You’ve got the tools. You’re an early riser.
He’s got one thing on His mind when He awakens. And He knows how to get up for the occasion. It does not take him long to rise for the sensation. Like an invasion of holy ground for Zion’s formation.
Ascend and climb for me.
Rise and soar for me.
Surge and tower for me.
He’s gets up in the dark. He’s got night vision.
“And no creature is hidden from His sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.” Hebrews 4:13
He saw me. All of me. So I gave him an account. All of it. Both the checking and the savings. He doesn’t want to keep our finances separate. He wants to share everything.
“You shall give to him freely, and your heart shall not be grudging when you give to him, because for this the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in all that you undertake.” Deuteronomy 15:10
I’ll give you everything, God…
He says I’ll give you everything, My love…
He puts his heart and soul into every part of His being’s expression of love interceding for our ascension in the secret place of sacred space.
“He made His way to a deserted place. And He was praying there.” Mark 1:35
When His prayer is over, He asks me…
“Then what if you should see the Son of Man ascend to where He was before?” John 6:62
Do you want another round?
Jesus dawns the day with His glorious face before the sun ever kisses the earth. Its first kiss comes from the Son of the Most High God. We love Your glory, it says. We love Your eyes, it says. The earth craves to see the glory of the Lord. It does. See Him. Every time His eyes open. And when they close, the earth cradles Him in their hands of fertile soil and oxygenated air breathing in from photosynthesis. The earth honors the King. And Jesus honors it. He goes to it. To be alone in the secluded parts of the earth where no one else is.
Jesus hears from God, His Father. He absorbs His love to overflow it to everyone else. He gains strength to move in power. He gleans the Father’s words to preach and teach the people who long to hear the beauty of Heaven’s decrees.
Jesus wakes up while it’s still dark. He doesn’t fear it. He commands it. He tells the sun to rise and the light to shine when He wakes up because He is the light. He is the coming of the Kingdom.
In the Greek text, the word for “He got up” is “anastas.” It means to rise up into existence. Jesus rose out of the grave, literally, on Sunday after the crucifixion. He can make anything rise.
You get up with Jesus’ aura in you.
Jesus did not wait until the sun came up for Him to commune with a holy God. He warred for the universe in the middle of its own dark morning. With nothing but the starry hosts and moonlit nightlight to witness the intercession.
Spend time interceding for those you love.
Alone time makes you fruitful in love. Passionate. Strong. Overflowing. It makes you as opulent as an oasis. As graceful as a gazelle. As elegant as Eden when it first bloomed with roses anew. Jesus went to a “deserted place” to be alone so that He could be replenished with Heaven’s divine nourishment. Because of this time He spent alone, He was able to move with fierce momentum during his whole day of ministry.
You need alone time with Jesus in order to love your lover well. Because God is the source of your passionate love meant to overflow through you to give them.
What you do first thing in the morning primes your entire day. Pray first. Talk to God first.
Get your heart and mind in alignment with Jesus, and he will align everything else as the days and times unfold.
“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you.” Matthew 6:33
Verse 35 says “while it was still dark, he got up.”
Can you see in the dark? Jesus could. He sees Heaven and see the Father despite the darkness of the morning before sunrise.
You need to condition yourself to see Heaven despite the darkness of the world around you.
See truth. See the spiritual. See injustice. See evil. And do something about it.
Jesus Christ illuminates the secret place. His Spirit reveals the truth of every place you walk into. Let Him be your eyes and ears, then you will impart His Kingdom vision into every place you enter.
You will tell a difference in your heart and spirit when You have spent time with Jesus in seclusion, just you and Him. Your spirit connects with Him. And here all your questions, utterings, feelings, fears, love, passions, thoughts are made known… You need this. To pour out all of You onto the God who sees all You and wants to be that intimate with You. Your spiritual life is only as healthy as your time spent with Him. Wherever you are, talk to God. Be mindful of Him and set your heart on Him.
Craving Jesus is the unleashing of every good gift.
Verse 36: The Mark of Search
“Simon and his companions went searching for Him.”
Wanted: Jesus. The sign is posted on the door of their hearts and the windows of their souls looking out into the world beyond to find Him. Now that Jesus has secluded Himself to prepare Himself for the day, the disciples begin to wonder about his location. They miss him. They want him around.
It sets a search in motion. An electric current. Surging through their hearts to find him. Will they find Him?
I remember the way Jesus first found Simon in chapter 1 verse 16 of this same gospel. Jesus “saw Simon” the verse said, and then he asked them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” It wasn’t really a question though, was it? He moreso said it. Declared it. Commanded it.
Still, Simon had a choice. Would he go? Would He follow? Verse 18 of chapter 1 says, “They immediately left their nets and followed Him.” He does. Jesus loved that Simon chose to follow Him.
Jesus is the electricity of life we need to thrive. A blast of energy. A bolt of lightning.
You search for what you want to find.
The mark of search means you carry a mark of being wanted. Needed. Essential. Vital.
“Seek the Lord and His strength; seek His presence continually!” 1 Chronicles 16:11
Jesus is vital to your life.
The writer of 1 Chronicles exhorted the people to seek the Lord. There’s a consequential result of this search: strength. It’s a search that won’t exhaust you. It enlivens you. Energizes you. Invigorates you.
Search for Jesus and come alive in the search.
His presence is a continual search. A continual need. A continual food meant to influx into your being daily. Search for His presence and receive vigor in return.
“Haven’t I commanded you: be strong and courageous? Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
Jesus is the only God who goes with you when you search for Him.
“By day the Lord directs his love, at night his song is with me— a prayer to the God of my life.” Psalm 42:8
His Spirit goes with you. His heart goes with you. His love goes with you. His guidance goes with you. He is there while you search for Him because He is an omnipresent God. It’s the one-of-a-kind search that always gives back in endless returns.
Everyone who loves Jesus searches for Him. And He wants to be found…
Verse 37: The Mark of Being Found
“They found Him and said, “Everyone’s looking for You!”
Everyone looks for Jesus. The human heart craves a God. A Savior. A rescuer. A hero. And when you find him, you know He’s the One.
Here in Mark chapter 1, Simon and his friends were looking for Jesus, and they didn’t stop until they find Him. They kept searching.
What do you search for?
“For everyone who asks receives, and the one who searches finds, and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” Matthew 7:8
If you search for the wrong thing, you will find the wrong contents flooding your system. Think about what you search for.
Jesus is marked by the need to be found. You, too, are marked with the need to be found.
When Simon and his friends find Jesus, they alert to Him to this need by saying, “everyone is looking for you!” We need You, Jesus! They want You, Jesus! Where were You, Jesus! When your role is important in the lives of others, you will be needed constantly. And to be found by them designates you as essential to their existence.
Jesus’ life is essential to the existence of humankind. Therefore, the earth literally groans for Him when He is missing. The people literally shriek and start searching in a frenzy when He’s not around. God was meant to be found by us, His people. It’s an inevitable reaction that someone so important would stir a search because He is always needed.
God is essential to the universe’s thriving. And He reigns how He reigns.
“Yahweh does whatever He pleases
in heaven and on earth,
in the seas and all the depths.
He causes the clouds to rise from the ends of the earth.
He makes lightning for the rain
and brings the wind from His storehouses.” Psalm 135:6-7
This is the mark of being the One who founded the universe. He calls the shots. He writes the stories. He authors your life. He crafts His love stories with enthusiasm, excitement, action, cliff hangers, drama, to create the most enriching of stories. I love what God creates.
Without Him, the earth would not spin on its axis. The sun would not burn in the galaxies. The waves would not stay contained in their dwellings. The trees would have no pine resin to trickle down their trunks like honey. Your heart lives with the most delight when You find God and live with Him as King of your heart.
The reason why Simon could say “everyone’s looking for you!” is because He was also one of those searchers. He knew their longing. He knew their hunger. He was one of them. And He needed Jesus too.
When you know you need Jesus, you can point everyone else to see Him too.
Do you know you need Jesus?
It’s a strength to need Him. Your greatest strength, in fact. Everything you need and everything you can be flows from His core. You need Jesus in your life to be your full and highest self. And He knows you need Him… that’s the beautiful part of His spirit. He is aware of you. Always. He knows how to find you.
Simon found Jesus because Jesus first found Him.
God loves to search for you… He loves what He finds when He finds you.
Verse 38: The Mark of Momentum
“And He said to them, “Let’s go on to the neighboring villages so that I may preach there too. This is why I have come.”
Jesus came to find every soul who waits for Him.
“Let’s go” Jesus said! His ministry is marked by momentum.
Once His alone time with the Father culminated, He got up and travelled onward. “This is why I have come,” He said. Jesus knew His momentum needed to propel forward so that He could accomplish His purpose.
Your momentum carries you onward into your purpose.
Your purpose illuminates the Kingdom of God.
The Kingdom of God readies itself to receive its Beloved.
Jesus moves with momentum because He knows that the people are waiting for Him.
Jesus is waiting for you too… Move towards Him. Jesus is coming for you soon… Move towards Him. It’s a two-fold exchange of Jesus’ momentum and yours. A two-fold interaction of Jesus’ love and yours merging at the moment He finds you. He wants to find you ready and willing to drop everything for Him. And choose Him. Just Him. As if nothing else matters but Him.
Mary chose Him like this…
“The Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has made the right choice, and it will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:41-42
What choice did Mary make? To sit at His feet and do nothing else but bask in the intimacy. Jesus delighted in her love more than Martha’s. So He told Martha, “It will not be taken away from her.” What Mary did for Jesus will never be taken. Never be forgotten. Never be removed from His heart or memory.
Jesus wants love too. When He’s been working all day and giving Himself away, He needs love too.
You needed love
so I gave You love
like no one else could be Your lover but me
I’ll always love You
I need your love
so I let you love
Me like no one else could see Me but you
I’ll always love you
Verse 39: The Mark of Travel
“So He went into all of Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and driving out demons.”
Jesus is ready to get to work after His alone time in the morning.
Mark says, “so He went” right after the disciples found Him. He knew the people were waiting and He did not want to keep them in waiting for longer than was necessary. This was His whole mission. To go and reach the people with the Kingdom of Heaven’s love, and He needed to move quickly and cover as much ground as possible.
He travelled everywhere He went.
Jesus travels the earth to find His Beloved because His Beloved rests on the earth.
He loves to travel. He loves to move. He loves to walk. He loves to run. Jesus is constantly on the move in the gospels and in a different locale every day.
“After this, Jesus traveled about from one town and village to another, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God. The Twelve were with Him.” Luke 8:1
Luke also concurred in this expedient lifestyle of moving about the region with Jesus, as he too was with Jesus everywhere He went. The disciples got to see new parts of the regions surrounding them they had never been to before. They learned about the other cities and saw new sights. They met new people and enlarged their cultural awareness because of all of their travels.
Travelling increases your global awareness. Both of people and of the world God made. You need this in order to be aware of how other people think besides you. You cannot isolate yourself to only seeing from your point of view. Sure, you will need to have your one belief and Jesus Christ is that one belief. But we need to understand why other people who are they are, and how they see the world through their eyes. Multicultural awareness increases your effectiveness in reaching everybody. But at your core, know what you believe. And don’t ever compromise that.
Jesus’ ministry is marked with travel.
God wants to take you with Him where He travels. Both in the world and in His heart. In your spirit and in His Spirit. Traverse the spiritual realm of Heavenly encounters with Him. Go where you never have with Him. Learn more than you ever could without Him. He has so much to teach you. So much to enlighten you on.
God created the world for us to explore. Go and see the ends of His earth marked with beauty.
My Favorite Takeaway of the Passage:
“…He got up, went out, and made His way to a deserted place…” Mark 1:35
Jesus retreats to the deserted places…
I love this passage because I feel the closeness of the Lord when it’s just me and Him. In solitude. Quiet. Open space, with nothing else around but the echo of the soft breeze flowing from aftermath of God’s own movement. The winds swirl when He meets you in the deserted place. The secret place. The place where only Jesus and I can meet.
I want to meet You, Jesus… in every deserted space on the earth. To mark our love in the sacred spaces hosting our covenant. Spaces of red rock and desert formations. Spaces of oceanic crystalline waters and sea life swimming.
I want to see the spaces you want to take me. Just me and you. I want to go to wonders of the world You envisioned with me and you standing on its coordinates for the first time. You are my sacred place. My secret place. My trusted oasis.
I wake up and I think of you in the secret place of only me and You. I wake up and I make my way to speak to You, because its only me and You. Right there. Where I am. You find me. Like You always do.
No place is ever deserted when Jesus is in you. Every space transforms into a technicolor mosaic of many colors reviving the land and atmosphere. He is the secret to expecting the divine. The only One who can take you there, to see Heaven. To see God. Because He is God. And in the seclusion, I glean Your infusion of spiritual sustenance I need to live and breathe. The most important of all nutrients to me. Find me in the quiet, my love. Find me in the secret space. Where no one else can find me but You.
“Come with me from Lebanon, my bride, with me from Lebanon. Look from the top of Amana, from the top of Senir and Hermon, from the lions’ dens, from the mountains of the leopards.” Song of Solomon 4:8