Updated: Aug 15, 2021
Jesus’ ministry began when John the Baptist’s ministry ended. But there was more to the timing of Jesus’ ministry than John’s passing from the public eye.
“The time has come” means God’s special salvation time had arrived. What God ordained before the foundation of the earth was entering the stream of time and history. The kingdom of God invaded the world in the person of Jesus. You can experience it in 2021. It’s within reach.
Mark 1:14–15 gives the content of Jesus’ message. When the kingdom was declared, a response was required. It still is. The first necessary response is repentance. The second is belief.
Repentance is a 180-degree turn from self-centeredness to God-centeredness. Belief is leaning your whole weight without reservation on Jesus Christ, God’s provision for your sin. Repentance is turning from sin. Belief is turning to Christ. When you grasp God’s undeserved favor, you’re unshackled from the ball and chain of earning God’s acceptance through your performance. Assurance of salvation comes the moment you lean your whole weight on Jesus’ finished work on the cross alone. It’s finished. You can’t add to it.
Next, Mark directs your attention to Jesus’ challenge to Peter and Andrew who would spread His message (Mark 1:16–20). “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people” (Mark 1:17, NIV). The promise still applies in the 21st century. Following Jesus means putting Him first. Fishing for people is part of that. Note that Peter, Andrew, James, and John immediately left their nets and followed Jesus. What “nets” must you leave to follow Jesus more closely? Jesus’ challenge isn’t dropping everything you’re presently doing. It’s reprioritizing everything. First things must be put first.
Mark 1:21–39 records a whirlwind of events in a single 24-hour period. In verses 21–34 we see Jesus’ unique authority. His teaching compels decision. It disturbs people who march to their own tunes. He drove out demons with the authority of His word. He astonished the crowds beyond measure. Their mouths were open. Their chins almost dragging on the ground. He healed Peter’s mother-in-law without speaking a word. He healed many. He drove out many demons. He has no equal in human history.
Despite Jesus’ growing fame, the response in Capernaum was shallow and superficial (Matthew 11:23–24). He retreated to a quiet place to pray. That’s how He renewed His strength and kept His perspective despite discouraging results in Capernaum.
Peter and the rest incorrectly used popularity to gauge the success of Jesus’ ministry. They wanted Jesus to remain in Capernaum. Jesus didn’t bask in the applause. His goal was to go elsewhere—ultimately, to the entire world. How are you fitting into those plans? #freechristiandiscipleshipresources #freeevangelismresources #freechristianleadershipresources
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