Take a few minutes to meditate on the words ‘the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus’ and give him praise
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. The incident serves as a reference date for focusing on the development of Jesus’s ministry in ‘hard pressed, stubbornly nationalistic Galilee.–a cosmopolitan center of vibrant commercial and political life. ‘We must resist the temptation to picture the beginning of Jesus’ ministry as being centered in some gentle, quiet backwater…he began at a place of conflict, threat, racial mix, 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 fishing in Lake Galilee, then to another two brothers working in their family fishing boat. He stats where they are at end 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 the followed.
From the outset Jesus went to where ordinary people were to be found. He didn’t stay in wither the wilderness of 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?
Consider how your church could help quip its members to live for Jesus in their workplaces and the ‘marketplaces’ of their lives