"Brethren, I have written a letter unto you" (Hebrews 13:22).

Archived Devotionals

August 10, 2020

Launch Day !

My Dear Friend,

      Mark 1:21-38 describes "launch day," the first twenty-four hours of Jesus' ministry in Capernaum. It was an amazing day.

     On the Sabbath morning Jesus taught God’s Word to the blessing and acclaim of the Jewish congregants (vv. 21-22). He taught with great authority, like no other rabbi.

     Then, with a single command, He delivered a demoniac who was present in the congregation. Thus, He easily exorcised demons with a power never before seen in any Jewish exorcist or magician or Greek charmer (vv. 23-28). This, too, left the whole synagogue reeling with wonder: "And they were all amazed ... What thing is this? ... For with authority commandeth he even the unclean spirits, and they do obey him" (v. 27). But there was more to come.

     After “church,” Jesus visited Peter and Andrew’s home for lunch. There He discovered Peter’s mother-in-law was suffering a high fever. So, Jesus touched her and "immediately the fever left her" (v. 31) and she immediately rose and prepared their noon meal (vv. 29-31). Powerful teaching, powerful exorcism, powerful healing, wow, what a ministerial debut! But the best was yet to be.

     News of Jesus’ kingdom gospel and exploits so stirred the public that, by sunset, “all the city was gathered together at the door” of His rented home, many carrying sick friends and relatives on stretchers and matts (vv. 32-33). This largely Jewish crowd had waited till sundown since rabbinic teaching prevented them from carrying burdens until the Sabbath ended. Since Capernaum had a substantial Gentile population, it is very likely “all the city” meant not only Jews but also Gentiles gathered together to seek the powerful new ministry of this new Rabbi and His "new doctrine" (v. 27). And Christ did not disappoint: a wonderful “new thing" followed (Isaiah 43:19).

     Jews and Gentiles crowded into and around Jesus’ rented house and not a few or some but “many” received healing from many different kinds of diseases (v. 34). Also, Jesus expelled “many” demons as He had done that morning at the synagogue—with His word and not permitting them to speak (v. 34). Furthermore, though not written, it's likely He again taught the Word to His guests. It would take a significant amount of time for “many” to receive Jesus' personal healing and deliverance ministries. So, this Messianic miracle meeting must have lasted well into the night. And Jesus' work still wasn’t over.

     "A great while before day," or very early the next morning, Jesus withdrew to a “solitary place” to spend time with His Father in prayer (v. 35). Why? He was refueling spiritually, spending time with His heavenly Source and drawing new earthly life and power from Him. This was the secret of Jesus’ dynamic power: time spent in communion with the Father, in His presence, alone and uninterrupted. Luke confirms Jesus did this not just on this first day of ministry in Capernaum but “often” (see Luke 5:16, NAS). But this sweet communion could not, and did not, last forever.

     At daybreak, Peter came looking for Jesus. He informed his Master that the public reports of His previous day’s ministry had captivated the people and now, “all men seek for thee” (v. 37). This statement, and Jesus' response, "Let us go into the next towns" (v. 38), closes the first twenty-four hours of Jesus' ministry in His new headquarters in Capernaum.

     What a day this "launch day" was: miracles at church, miracles at lunch, miracles all night long, spiritual refueling in the early morning, and new demand for more ministry at daybreak!

     Jesus’ ministry was indeed a “new thing” for the people. Suddenly, heaven opened and poured out on them its very best blessing, its glory—the amazing wonder of Jesus in all His fullness personally teaching, healing, and delivering the oppressed in His compassionate power! Peter later described that glory: "How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit, and with power; who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil, for God was with him" (Acts 10:38).

     But this "new thing" was equally new to Jesus and His band of apostles. They had entered a new period of “ministry on demand” that left them with little or no time for themselves, only time for ministry, spiritual restoration, and more ministry (Mark 6:31). After launch day, their lives were never the same.

     Are you praying for a "new thing" in your old church? A heavenly revival, spiritual awakening, or divine visitation?

     Then get ready for your own launch day! Miracles in the morning, miracles at lunch, miracles all night long, spiritual refueling, and more acts of Christ the next day - all because God's glory has visited. Jesus will truly be present among us, working by the power of His Spirit through the members of His body doing the very same wonders He did in Capernaum. The four Gospels will come to life in our lives!

     Pentecost was the church's first launch day. Numerous subsequent visitations down the centuries in various parts of the world have relaunched the ekklesia when it was flagging, as we are in this Laodicean generation. May Christ answer our prayers and relaunch us again in these last days. Acts 29 is yet to be written.

     So, pray, prepare, and expect launch day in your church - a day like nothing you've ever experienced.

Praying, preparing, expecting,

Greg Hinnant
Greg Hinnant Ministries

       Greg Hinnant Ministries
PO Box 788, High Point, NC 27261