THE TIME IS NOW
Lord, Your Word is open before me. Help me by Your Spirit, to be open and willing for You to change me.
Read MARK 1:14–20
Jesus Announces the Good News
14 After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. 15 “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!”
Jesus Calls His First Disciples
16 As Jesus walked beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. 17 “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” 18 At once they left their nets and followed him.
19 When he had gone a little farther, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John in a boat, preparing their nets. 20 Without delay he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men and followed him.
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Thy kingdom come.
The summary statement of verses 14 and 15 (picked up and closed at verse 39) is packed with significance. John’s imprisonment reminds us of Herod Antipas’ presence – and the dangers of speaking up for God. John’s removal from the public eye signals to Jesus that the kairos, the right time in NT Greek, has come for Him to call His disciples and launch His ministry of teaching and healing, a ministry that inexorably leads to His death and resurrection. The ‘kingdom of God’ (v 15) announces the appearance on earth of God’s sovereign rule, alluded to in a thousand different ways in the Old Testament. The Romans studiously avoided any references to the word ‘king’ in their political discourse for fear of its connotations: Jesus boldly proclaims that God rules and thatHe, Jesus, is King. Not Herod.
There has been much debate about what Jesus means when He says ‘ the kingdom of God has come near’: whether this means ‘now’, in the immediate future, or when He comes again. The truth is that it is all of the above. Jesus is not talking about a time frame, but rather a reality all around us. His teaching and His miracles will make it plain for all to see.
The second story is simple. We know from John’s Gospel that in fact the first disciples had more interaction with Jesus than Mark would suggest. (We should remember that, with all biblical narrative, we don’t always know the whole story.) Mark’s emphasis is on the immediate and unhesitating response of the disciples to Jesus’ call. There is none of the dithering that we read about in Luke 9:59–62. On that day when they are irresistibly drawn to this charismatic preacher, little do they know where their discipleship will take them.
Jesus, our King, we hear Your voice. Fill us with passion as we go out in Your name to bring hope to the world.
Gracious God, I need to come to terms with time. Forgive me for when I have wasted time, marked time, or killed time. Help me to see time as a hallowed trust from You.
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