Prayer, Word and Deed – Gospel in Life

Prayer, Word and Deed

Tim Keller |  February 5, 2006

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  • Prayer & Meditation
Mark 1:35-45
RS 190-05


A Jesus who’s a projection of your own desires can’t contradict you, can’t change you, and can’t help you. If you’re going to have a Jesus who really helps you or changes you, it has to be a Jesus with his own reality. We find the real Jesus in the New Testament Gospels. In this passage, we see: 1) The richness of Jesus’s interior life with God; 2) The richness of Jesus’s external ministry to others; and 3) How we can grow in that same wealth of character and power.

Mark 1:35–45

Studying Jesus’ life in the book of Mark can teach us a lot about his close relationship with God and how he served others. We can grow stronger in character and spirit by following Jesus’ example, rather than creating our own image of him. The gospels introduce us to the real Jesus and can change our lives.

1. The depth of Jesus’ personal relationship with God

Even when he was busy or popular, Jesus always made time for prayer. Prayer isn’t about asking for things, but about understanding the incredible fact that through Christ, God, who rules over everything, has become our Father. Prayer helps us feel God’s unconditional love more deeply. This habit of prayer gives us freedom and confidence, reminding us that our Heavenly Father loves us dearly.

2. The depth of Jesus’ service to others

Jesus chose preaching over doing miracles, showing us that it’s not enough to just take care of physical needs. The story tells us that salvation through Jesus involves personal change, love that costs us something, and bravery in facing our faults. It also shows how Jesus reached out to lepers, who were avoided by others. This criticizes churches that ignore people’s physical and societal needs, and suggests that true followers of Jesus should balance personal change with helping others, because personal change can lead to social justice.

3. How we can develop these same characteristics and strengths

Jesus’ example of serving and loving others unconditionally, as shown in his interaction with the leper, is a powerful lesson. The leper trusted in Jesus’ mercy, and Jesus responded by touching and cleaning him, without the need for any religious rituals. This shows us that Jesus represents purity. This kind of unconditional love and service can change our relationship with God and how we treat others.




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