22nd August, 2012
BRUCE C. WEARNE
Read Mark 1:16-20
PICTURE: © Gölin Doorneweerd sxc.hu
"Jesus visited the workplace of Simon and Andrew, where they were busy doing what fishermen do. They weren't out catching fish. They were mending nets. Jesus probably came a few times and talked with them. Maybe He helped mend some nets; they might have taught Him a few knots. He got to know His first students where they worked. He knew that work is important for people."
Herod Antipas threw John into prison and Jesus returned from the desert to gather students for His own school. He would teach them to understand how God was busy fulfilling His promises with the One promised, the One who John had told them would baptise with the Holy Spirit.
No doubt John would tell Herod about Jesus and what He had come to do. But as we shall learn later, when push came to shove, what God was doing was not what Herod wanted to know about. The Good News about God's Kingdom would be given to the people of Galilee, Judaea and Samaria and then on into all the whole world. Herod could not stop it. The much loved Son had come. The time of preparation was over. So Jesus said: "The time has come, the kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!"
Jesus' simple message was preparing His students to take the message wherever they were going to go. Everyone was invited to become a student in His school, to live as citizens of God’s Kingdom. When Jesus chose the region of Galilee for His teaching work, He showed His disciples (and us) that He had come to live just like we do. He made decisions - He had to be clear about what God wanted Him to do and He had to choose a place to do it. When we read about Jesus we find ourselves asking the kind of questions He had to ask: What do I live for? What is my life all about? What does God want of me?
So Jesus began. He did something ordinary. He found some friends. Maybe He was lonely. From what we can read of Him we know He liked having friends around. He had work to do and wanted help. So, that is how He got started. Jesus began teaching these disciples about themselves, about what it meant to be God's friends, co-workers in God's Kingdom. Jesus visited the workplace of Simon and Andrew, where they were busy doing what fishermen do. They weren't out catching fish. They were mending nets. Jesus probably came a few times and talked with them. Maybe He helped mend some nets; they might have taught Him a few knots. He got to know His first students where they worked. He knew that work is important for people. John had told these fellows to follow Jesus. With John's arrest it might seem logical for them to now follow Jesus but Mark tells us that they did not become His disciples until Jesus invited them.
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