By Chris Chambers
Pastor, Brush Creek Baptist Church, Brush Creek
Focal Passage: Mark 1:9-20
Mark gives us a brief summary of John’s ministry but, he seems anxious to get to the beginning of Jesus’ ministry with his baptism and temptation. Mark seems to have an urgency to get to the gospel, the good news, that the Messiah was on the scene. He does not have time to deal with genealogies or even Jesus’ birth or boyhood.
Even when Mark mentions Jesus’ baptism he uses the phrase, “As soon as” when he speaks of Jesus coming out of the water and the Spirit’s descending.
And in Mark 1:12, “Immediately,” is the word that is used for the Spirit driving Jesus into the wilderness for His 40 days of fasting and temptation. But Mark does not have time to describe those 40 days or the temptation in detail.
In verses 14 and 15 in the first chapter of Mark, he seems to summarize the time between Jesus’ temptation and the second year of His ministry, since John and Jesus were baptizing at the same time according to John 4:1-2.
Mark is urgent to get his readers to what he considers the most important message of the life of Christ: “Repent and believe the good news” (Mark 1:15).
We see another sense of urgency in the response of Simon, Andrew, James and John. In verse 18, “Immediately” Simon and Andrew drop their nets and follow Christ after He calls them to “fish for people” (verse 17).
Then in verse 20, Jesus “Immediately” calls James and John, the sons of Zebedee, and they leave their father and business to follow Christ.
How urgently do we view the call of Christ in our lives? How urgently do we view the call to repentance? Have you answered that call in your life? Have you dropped everything to follow Him? When we fail to leave our “nets” of doubt, fear, resentment, unforgiveness, hate, guilt, or shame behind, or we place anyone or anything ahead of Christ, we are saying to Him that a closer walk with Him and obedience to Him is not that urgent to us.
However, when the call of Christ is the most important call in our lives, we will not let anything else interfere with that call. We will obey with urgency.
Do we want to share the gospel with others as urgently as Mark wanted to share it with his readers? He could not get through one chapter before he had presented it to them. The world around us is desperate for all of Christ’s followers to answer the call to “fish for men” and they don’t even know it. How well are you doing at answering that call? B&R