FROM THE SERVANT GENERAL
THE WAY FORWARD IN CHRIST
THE END TIMES – 16
January 13, 2014
Today’s gospel: Mark 1:14-20
Jesus started his public ministry “proclaiming the gospel of God: ‘This is the time of fulfillment. The kingdom of God is at hand.’” (v.14b-15a). The good news was that the kingdom of God was at hand, in the very person of Jesus, God-made-man. Because God had come into the world to bring salvation, it truly was the time of fulfillment. It was the fulfillment of God’s promises, of God’s original intent for humankind, of restoration to God’s original plan.
Jesus came, went, but will be back again, at the end of time. That is when the fullness of the Kingdom of God will really be at hand. That is when everything ends, or rather, everything begins anew.
Now we are in the middle of these two comings. For us to appropriate what God intends for us, we need to respond to the presence of Jesus among us. “Repent, and believe in the gospel.” (v.15b). We are to turn away from sin and turn to faith in Jesus. We are to accept him as Savior and Lord.
Now that good news needs to be proclaimed to all. And so Jesus, right at the start of his public ministry, called his first disciples. Jesus would need them to continue the work after he ascends into heaven. So Jesus said to them, “Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.” (v.17). Jesus would empower them to witness. He would enable them to evangelize. He would equip them to proclaim the gospel.
Jesus calls ordinary people, in this case, fishermen. But the seriousness and importance of the gospel just necessitated one thing–that they give their all. The work of evangelization is more important than the normally important things in our lives–livelihood and family. And so “they abandoned their nets and followed him.” (v.18). “So they left their father Zebedee in the boat along with the hired men and followed him.” (v.20b).
Jesus saw Simon and Andrew and James and John, and “he called them.” (v.20a). Today it is we whom Jesus calls. We are called to proclaim the gospel. We are called to commit ourselves to this all-important work. Those Jesus first called “were fishermen.” (v.16b). So too are we–fishers of men.
This is the time of fulfillment. Jesus has come; Jesus will come again.
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