“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.” (Mark 1:35)
The Lord’s perfect life is an example for all mankind to follow. The world has had many teachers, but only one Christ. His actions were as inspired as the words which He spoke.
He started His day with the Father, not only because He wanted to, but because in His humanity, He actually needed to. Each time He departed for a season alone in prayer and personal fellowship with the Father, His human needs were met. Beyond that, He was showing His disciples how to live victoriously. He arose early on this particular morning (Mark 1:35) and chose to be totally alone. On the day before, He had preached in Capernaum, freed a man possessed by demons, healed Peter’s mother-in-law, and preached again to a huge crowd where great numbers of spiritually, physically, and emotionally sick people were healed (Mark 1:21-34). It is an understatement to say that His schedule had been busy.
Everyone wanted to be with Him – the sick and disturbed, new followers, disciples in training, and hangers-on; they were all pressing in upon Him. To get any time alone with the Father, Jesus literally had to get up while it was still dark and slip away while the others were sleeping.
This devotional practice was essential in the Lord’s earthly life because He lived in dependence upon the spiritual strength given to Him by His Father. He carefully reminded His disciples that no work He did was of Himself, and that no word He ever spoke was His own. He credited the Father with everything accomplished in His ministry (John 14:10). He literally lived each moment in dependence upon His Father. Ironically, our Savior who spoke only of dependence, was seen by the Jewish leaders of the day as the most independent man they had every met (Mark 1:27).
During the Lord’s solitary times of prayer, He was sometimes interrupted. Such was the case on this particular morning; “And Simon and his companions hunted for Him; and they found Him, and said to Him, ’Everyone is looking for You.’” (Mark 1:36 & 37) Several important lessons can be seen in this experience, but first concentrate on the person of Christ. What really happened when He was interrupted?
Visualize the Lord talking to His Father. Consider the fact that He was filled with the Holy Spirit without measure (John 3:34). Allow the exalted meaning of this verse to permeate your mind; “For in Him (Christ) all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form.” (Colossians 2:9) Everything that God is, was present in the life of Christ. Since prayer is a conversation, one could accurately say that Peter and the other apostles unknowingly interrupted a holy time of communion among God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. To be sure, this was a most holy moment.
When the Lord’s prayer time was interrupted, He demonstrated what our reaction should be. He did not chide those who intruded upon His time with the Father. He did not allow the interruption to upset His spirit or ruin His day. His lifestyle remained consistent yet flexible, regardless of the outward circumstances.