February 8, 2015 Text: Mark 1:29-39
Dear Friends in Christ,
Professions and vocations serve a function. Every father, mother, student, teacher, police officer, attorney, and politician has a purpose. Basketball players and musicians, plumbers and farmers, motivational speakers and financial advisors have a function. Their vocation may be to raise their children, teach, motivate, or fix a leaky faucet. Every person has a vocation or function. Most have several vocations in addition to their job activities.
What about God and his only beloved Son, Jesus Christ? Why did Jesus go from one town to another and place-to place?
“WHAT IS CHRIST’S FUNCTION?”
Where did Jesus’ preaching fit into his total ministry? Jesus has been at the synagogue in Capernaum and now He enters the house of Peter and Andrew with James and John. Peter’s mother-in-law has a fever and is ill. Jesus lifts her up, the fever leaves her; and she begins to serve all of them.
Jesus now at sundown – after the Sabbath ends. He receives the crowds who continually bring those afflicted by sickness or demons. He heals many and He casts out the demons.
Jesus – early in the morning. He leaves the disciples to pray in solitude. He needs a break like we all do – but the disciples hunt him down because the disciples say that everyone is looking for him. He then proclaims His function. They are going to go to the neighboring towns where Jesus can proclaim the Kingdom of God. That is why He came! He continues this ministry as He goes throughout the region of Galilee preaching and expelling demons by His Word.
What does Christ’s preaching of the Word mean for us? Many times, we see or hear things while something else is going on, and we miss it. It’s like trying to watch a three-ring circus. The trapeze artists get our whole attention that we may miss the clowns or the tigers. There is so much going on. When I announce football games, which I have for a number of years, I watch the game through my binoculars so I can get the number of the ball carrier and tackler correct. Parents want that kids name said right! Anyway, when I do that my field of vision is limited. I might miss something down field. To fully appreciate a circus or football game we must see the event in its entirety.
The same is true for understanding the ministry of Jesus. During those early Galilean years, he taught, he preached, he worked miracles. Everyone wanted a piece of him, but they didn’t really know why he’d come. He’d come to preach, but just what he was preaching – himself – wasn’t understood by many until the climax of that preaching was fulfilled: His death and resurrection.
Jesus’ healing in today’s text validates His preaching. He heals our minds, bodies, and souls. He heals our greatest illnesses – rejection of His will, unbelief, sin, and death. It has the same impact on our world as it did when Jesus himself spoke.
Like Peter’s mother-in-law we have been healed to serve out of faith and love. We are here right now, in this place, to fulfill our vocation for Christ and His Church. Like the disciples, we are invited by the Holy Spirit to find Jesus at Bible Studies, in Sunday School, devotions, in Holy Communion, in Confession and Absolution. Like the crowds, we may always bring others to be spiritually healed by His touch and preaching – at worship, Bible Studies, Baptism, Holy Communion.
How does that preaching continue today? What is our function? When I hear the word “function” it always takes me back to my childhood and Saturday mornings when they had these little vignettes on television. I remember this little ditty, “Conjunction, junction, what’s your function?” We might think of it this way, “Christian, Christian, what’s your function?” The Holy Spirit empowers us to be about the mission of the church. We can’t heal, but we can invite to the healing waters. We can’t preach like Jesus, but we can reach out to others to come and hear the Lord’s preaching. And we do have the ability to forgive the sins of repentant sinners because Christ first forgave us. As the Word is preached and the Sacraments are administered, Jesus continues to heal the sick of soul.
The Lord has His function and through Him we have ours. Let’s get to it!