Believe and Obey

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Hearing and Responding

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Imprisonment and Freedom

This week’s text is Mark 1:14-20.  This contains my most favorite verse in all of Scripture, the 15th. verse: “’The time has come,’ he said. ‘The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!’”.  This is the essence of our faith distilled into one short verse.  God’s kingdom is breaking into this world and the time has come to repent (which means to turn around), and believe the good news (Gospel).

It is notable that this good news proclamation occurs after John the Baptist was put in prison.  He is suffering for his belief, and he will soon meet his earthly end because of that proclamation.  Yet, his sacrifice was on behalf of proclaiming the arrival of the Messiah.  John gives his all for Jesus, there is no cheap grace to be found here.  He prefigures Jesus in that his imprisonment heralds our freedom, the same way Jesus’s suffering and death on our behalf heralds our eternal freedom.  We cannot have one without the other.

The Call For Us All

This passage concludes with the scene of Jesus calling His first followers.  He sees Simon (who would become Peter) and Andrew fishing, and He calls to them to fish for people instead.  He then calls James and his brother John.  The simple point is that they heard God’s good and gracious word and they believed and they responded.  This is the practical application of what the first part of the passage is telling us. 

As always, the message is clear and simple, hear God’s word, trust that it is true and believe it, and then respond accordingly.  This may or may not mean walking away from your current job, or life situation.  Different people are called to different tasks.  There is certainly a need for people in the traditional work world giving living testimony to the good news.  The point is that whatever you are called to do, whatever, in fact, you do, do it in response to the gifts of grace upon grace that God has given you through His Son Jesus the Christ.  None of this is easy, it’s just eternally life giving.  So, joyfully listen, understand, then believe and obey.

Praise Be to God

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