12 September 2017
We have a cracking gospel reading this morning as we continue to follow Luke’s account of Jesus’ life. I’m particularly drawn to the first sentence:
Jesus departed to the mountain to pray, and he spent the whole night in prayer to God…
Jesus spent the whole night in prayer to His Father. Sure he had some big decisions to make, choosing the twelve who were to become the core team, his apostles, but the fact that he spent the whole night praying points to a dimension of Jesus’ life that we can easily overlook: he longed to spend time with the Father.
In the biblical narrative mountains are often places of encounter – think of Moses face to face with God on Mt Sinai (Exodus 19 and 34) and Elijah in the cave listening for the gentle breeze on Mt Horeb (1 Kings 19). Remember too that both these characters make a dramatic appearance in the Gospel narrative a few chapters later in Luke 9.28-36 when they appear in glory on the mount of transfiguration. For Moses, Elijah and Jesus, to go to the mountain is to encounter the divine Presence, and to encounter the Presence is to be empowered for mission.
It is easy to miss the impact of the last sentence of today’s gospel reading:
…Everyone in the crowd sought to touch him because power came forth from him and healed them all.
The power that ‘came forth from him’ was breathtaking to behold and life-changing for those it touched. How many in the crowd who touched Jesus were healed? All of them. How wonderful is that!
Do you, as a disciple of Jesus today, need more of the power of God in your life and ministry? Then follow the example of the master. Carve out a space in your day to climb the mountain of prayer. He will meet you there.
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