Mark 1:35-39. And in the morning, a great while before day Εννυχου λιαν , When the night was very far advanced, or, when it was yet deep night, he went out, &c. Thus diligently did the Son of God labour for us! After the preceding day had been spent in preaching, and the evening in working miracles, Jesus allowed himself but a very short repose. And departed into a solitary place Withdrawing not only from the multitude, but even from his disciples; for the company of the best friends is not always seasonable nor acceptable. There are times and cases when a true Christian would not be willing that his dearest friends should be witnesses of what passes between God and his soul. By retiring thus early in the morning for prayer, our Lord teaches that the morning is a fit season, yea, the best season, for private duties. Then our spirits are most fresh, and our minds most free, before the cares and distractions of the day have broken in upon us. It is better to go from prayer to business, than from business to prayer. But not only early in the morning, but at other convenient times, we find our Lord retiring to pour out his soul in prayer to his heavenly Father, hereby showing all his followers the great importance of cultivating communion with God in private: and those who are employed in his public service should especially attend to this, lest, while they keep the vineyard of others, their own should be neglected and empoverished. And Simon, &c., followed after him When the day was somewhat advanced, and crowds of people came to inquire after him, Peter, and they that were with him That is, those who have been already mentioned as his partners and companions, guessing where he was, went out and followed after him; and said, All men seek for thee They were glad that their Master was become so popular already, and wished him to appear in public yet more in that place, because it was their own city, and men are apt to be partial to the places with which they are particularly acquainted, and in which they feel themselves peculiarly interested. And he said, Let us go into the next towns The villages in the neighbourhood; that I may preach there also And work miracles there; for therefore came I forth Not to be constantly resident in one place, but to go about doing good. It being Christ’s design to propagate the gospel everywhere, he would not confine his ministry to any particular place, no, not to the great city of Capernaum; but resolves to preach the word in the smallest towns and villages. Herein he set ministers an instructive example, showing them that they must be as willing to preach the gospel in the smallest villages as in the largest cities, when God calls them thereunto. Let the place be never so obscure and mean, and the congregation never so small and poor, the greatest must not think it beneath them to go and instruct them, though but a handful of people. And he preached throughout all Galilee Not drawn from his purpose by the persuasions, however importunate, of his friends. And cast out devils Working also divers miracles to illustrate and confirm his doctrine. See on Matthew 4:23.
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