The heart of the Christmas season is celebrating the life of Jesus Christ. In His life, we see the identity of Jesus Christ on display. Jesus came to change our hearts for Him. How does the life of Jesus change our hearts for Jesus? Each Friday throughout the month of December, Esther St John will walk us through Mark 1 to help our hearts see Jesus. In this post, Esther walks us through Mark 1:14-20.
To Know Jesus
Puzzles have never been my favorite hobby. As a child, I remember trying to put together a puzzle. I was anxious about completing it before even starting it. I was so focused on grabbing the bigger pieces first so that I could deal with the smaller details later. However, the nightmare for any 8-year-old trying to put together a puzzle had happened. I lost a piece. Sometimes, we treat the Scriptures as a puzzle we are trying to complete. The truth is we won’t have all the pieces on this side of eternity. Yet, we do have what God has revealed! Even if we don’t know it all, we can rest in the fact that we don’t have to know it. We simply can trust in what He has given to us. The Scriptures are inspired by the Holy Spirit. Each part of it is of great importance! In this week’s reading, we see Jesus start His ministry after John the Baptist was arrested.
Examine the Text
- Why did Jesus start his ministry “after John was arrested”?
- Later (in Mark 6 and recorded in Matthew 14), John was arrested and beheaded by King Herod. Why is this important to mention?
- Read Luke 16:16 and Mathew 11:12-15. What does this say about God’s Word? What does this say about God’s character?
God has a perfect plan that you and I can trust! Alleluia! The King has come! The Messiah whom the Law and the Prophets spoke of has come. Therefore, the mission of John the Baptist has been completed. In his death, John stood up for the gospel and what was right.
Apply to Life
- The people of Israel waited hundreds of years for the Messiah to come. There are times we wait and wonder too. When was the last time you struggled to trust God’s plan for your life? How could it have looked different if you had chosen to trust Him?
The Call of Following Jesus
Mark 1:15 presents Jesus and His mission, saying “the time is fulfilled, and the Kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.” When Jesus spoke of time, He was not referring to a chronological timeline, but speaking of when all the prophecies were to be fulfilled and redemption of sin would come through repentance and faith.
Examine the Text
- What does repentance look like in the life of a follower of Jesus?
- What does it mean to believe in the gospel? (If you have not believed in the good news of the gospel, then why not respond in repentance of sin and trust in Jesus for salvation now!)
The Cost of Following Jesus
Mark 1:17 says, “And Jesus said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you become fishers of men.” This call to follow Jesus came with a cost. Mark 1:18-20 shows the cost Simon and Andrew faced. Casting their nets to make a way to provide for their families as fishermen, they were called by Jesus to leave their livelihoods and follow Him. Now, does this passage mean we need to leave our current jobs to follow Jesus? Of course not! The point of this passage is to reveal the heart. A heart that follows Jesus will be willing to leave behind or let go of anything that stands in their way of fully following Jesus. Their hope is not found in tangible things but believes Jesus is enough to satisfy every need. As they follow Jesus in this way, they help lead others to follow Jesus.
Apply to Life:
- Do you have a heart that willingly follows Jesus fully? If not, what are some areas of your heart where you tend to hesitate to follow Jesus fully?
- What are some tangible things you tend to put your hope and faith currently? How can you replace these things with true biblical hope?
- Who are you currently sharing Jesus with? Where does making fishers of men fit into your schedule?