Monday, June 24, 2013
The first teaching that Jesus brings is: “Change!”
Mark 1: 14-15
Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”
We heard some historic preaching on Sunday. Maybe you thought it was carefully chosen so that every message supported one theme. In fact, the choosing was fairly random – what was available, that would fit the time periods that we wanted.
One clear theme did come through all three, though – the message of repentance. This week we’ll stay with that theme and explore it some more. Where in the New Testament do we find the word “repent”? What are the N.T. preachers saying, and what response are they expecting? Two questions, one answer.
In our passage today we see how Mark’s gospel – written to be used evangelistically – relates the call of Jesus. John is baptising people in the river Jordan, and Jesus comes out of Galilee and is baptised – water and Spirit. Remember John’s account of Jesus talking to Nicodemus:
John 3: 5 Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit.
Jesus is baptised and filled with the Spirit in a visible encounter, and finds himself compelled to go into the wilderness – a time of testing – after which He starts to preach. What is the thrust of that very first message?
“…The kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”
His words call for a response, and the response is to change (repent), and to believe, in that order.
Who, out of your not-yet-Christian friends, are you being given opportunities to talk to? As you do, keep in mind what Jesus did, and whether God is giving you an opening to do something along the same lines. How will you bring a note of needing to change into the conversation?