Thursday, May 12, 2022

Mark 1:19-20

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"19 When he had gone a little farther, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John in a boat, preparing their nets. 20 Without delay he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men and followed him." ~ Mark 1:19-20

Today, we come to the call of the sons of Zebedee. The call of the Lord upon James & John to be His disciples was much like the call of brothers, Simon Peter & Andrew. In both cases, the Lord Jesus walks along the sea of Galilee and invites them to follow Him. The difference for James and John is that they left their father and the family’s hired servants. For James and John, the call of the Lord Jesus took precedence over both family and wealth.

Following the Lord Jesus Christ not only means submitting to His vision for our lives, it also means allowing Him to correct our understanding of life as we learn to walk with Him. The Lord Jesus will overturn our preconceptions of what He is all about and open our eyes to see life as He defines it. The Lord Jesus tells us to follow Him in order to give us His vision for our lives. He took fishermen and turned them into fishermen of a different kind. Like them, this call from the Lord Jesus connects with our experiences, our natural makeup, and resonates with our natural passions.

In order for this to happen, we must first present ourselves to Him, daily. This means we must make it our habit to listen to Him while reading His Word and as we live our every day lives. If we spend time with Him, He will share His passion with us. After a while of this, we will begin to recognize His impact on our lives and we will care about what He cares about.

In addition, we must be diligent to watch for opportunities with people whom He brings into our daily lives. Learning to be sensitive and attentive to "coincidences" that have His fingerprints all over them is a must for the disciple in the making. As a result of sticking close to the Lord Jesus, He’ll put the right things on our hearts and get us moving in the right direction at the right time. He will shape us for His call on our lives. He is our Shepherd who will lead us in the way of our every day lives with Him. 

In Mark 1:14-15 the Lord Jesus came preaching the kingdom of God. If we didn't have the other gospels, we would think that the Lord Jesus was just walking by the Sea of Galilee and happens to come across some men fishing. He calls out to these men to follow Him & they walk away from their livelihood in order to follow Him. But, when we compare the other gospels to Mark's, we learn that this wasn't Peter's first encounter with the Lord Jesus. 

In John 1:35-42 we discover that Peter & Andrew had already met the Lord Jesus. They had profited from the ministry of John the Baptist and they had accompanied the Lord Jesus at a wedding in Cana. In John 1 the calling of the disciples was a call to believe in Christ for salvation, the initial forgiveness of sins. A year later, here in Mark 1, we see that this is a different call. This is the call of the Lord Jesus to these men to follow Him as His disciples.  

Discipleship happens in our lives after we have been forgiven of our sins and we have entered into a relationship with the Lord Jesus. Discipleship is another word for sanctification. Discipleship happens after justification and within sanctification. Lacking the understanding that a year goes by from John 1 to Mark 1 has caused many to not understand the difference between justification (forgiveness of sin) and sanctification (the process whereby we learn that His way in this life is better than ours). This lack of understanding has caused most of the heresy that has been born in the church since the time of Christ.

Discipleship or sanctification is a process whereby we are getting to know the Lord for ourselves and He is changing our souls which is made up of our minds, our wills, and our emotions. And, our souls and our spirits are not the same. After we came into a relationship with God by believing that the Lord Jesus is our savior and our sins were forgiven on the basis of Christ's finished work on the cross, we enter into this process whereby God begins altering our identity through the changing of our souls.

So, the Bible presents the theology of sanctifying grace, that although the power of sin has been broken, the presence of sin still remains and is being progressively dealt with by the Lord. This happens because even though God loves us just as we are, He is not willing to remain as we are. God is not satisfied for you and me to live in the actual condition of our sin, even though our legal standing before Him has changed through our relationship with His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.

One thing God uses in addition to His Word to change us is conviction which is not the same as judgment. Conviction is God wrapping His arms around us and drawing us nearer to Himself. He uses His Word to move us along, to set goals of grace for us, to remind us of what we should love and what we should hate, and what we should desire and how we should live and how we should speak. Sanctification is the influence on our lives, so that our souls are changed. The ultimate goal of our sanctification is the influence of our lives on the lives of others. This is what it means to be the disciple of the Lord Jesus.