God At Work
Thank You, Lord, for being my Good Shepherd. Thank You for watching over and protecting me so well and faithfully.
Read Mark 1:14-20
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
“It is not easy to cut loose from other ties and follow Jesus. It was not easy for Peter, Andrew, James, and John. That’s what they did, and it’s what we are called to do today, tomorrow, and on into God’s future” (N. T. Wright).
Mark’s story continues at a breathless pace. At this point he merely refers in passing to the story of John’s denunciation of Herod for immorality and his consequent imprisonment (Matt. 14:3-12; Mark 6:14-29). The incident serves as a reference date for focusing on the development of Jesus’ ministry in Galilee–a cosmopolitan center of vibrant commercial and political life. Jesus’ early ministry was not centered in some gentle, quiet backwater town. Rather, it began in a place of conflict, threat, racial diversity, and busy activity. It was into this volatile setting that Jesus announced that the time was pregnant with eternal significance, with the coming of God’s kingly rule by implication bound up with Jesus himself.
This was not something to be easily ignored. It required a wholehearted response of repentance and belief–and, as we see in the calling of the first disciples, a change in priorities. Using language familiar to his hearers, Jesus speaks first to Simon and Andrew while they were fishing, then to another two brothers working in their family fishing boat. He starts where they are at and engages with their world, offering them a very different way of life in terms they would understand. His authority is evident, and they respond without hesitation. Jesus called and they followed.
From the outset Jesus went to where ordinary people were. He didn’t stay in either the wilderness or the synagogue, expecting others to come to him. He went to an area bustling with life and challenge, to the workplace of four fishermen, to choose his first disciples. In view of their jobs, they were likely to be rough diamonds at best. Is this where the church today should be?
How could your church help equip its members to live for Jesus in their workplaces and their “marketplaces”?
Gracious Father, may my response to Your love be seen in my going to reach others with the Good News.
Click here to sign up to receive the EXTRAs via email each quarter.
© 2024 Scripture Union U.S.A. All rights reserved. Reproduction of the whole or any part of the contents without written permission is prohibited.
Encounter with God is published in the USA under license from Scripture Union England and Wales, Trinity House, Opal Court, Opal Drive, Fox Milne, Milton Keynes, MK15 0DF.