Today’s reading: Leviticus 24-25; Mark 1:1-23-45
38 And he said to them, “Let us go on to the next towns, that I may preach there also, for that is why I came out.” 39 And he went throughout all Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and casting out demons.
55 For it is to me that the people of Israel are servants. They are my servants whom I brought out of the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.
Provision was made in the law for those who had fallen on hard times and had to sell themselves as servants. The people of Israel were God’s people. They belonged to Him and could not belong to anyone else, at least, not permanently. The law encouraged people to redeem their enslaved relatives, but, in case there was no one to do this, servants were to be freed automatically at the year of jubilee.
So too, Jesus went throughout Galilee preaching and casting out demons, redeeming people from the bondage of Satan and sin. As Jesus’ power became known, demands on His time increased. He went out before daybreak to pray. His disciples found Him and told Him how the crowds were looking for Him. But Jesus had other plans. He and the disciples moved on to other towns in Galilee.
In reading this passage in Mark’s gospel, I get the sense that Jesus moved purposefully through His life without anxiety or confusion. He was not controlled by the many needs around Him, but, through prayer, sought the Father’s guidance for His day.
His redemption of lost souls was pictured in the redemption of Old Testament slaves. Just as the latter needed someone to free them from physical slavery, so the former did and do need Someone to free them from spiritual bondage. Jesus Christ proclaims freedom from sin to all who repent and believe. Trust in Him and be free.