Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Jesus was Radical (A Reflection on Mark 1:14-20)

’The right time has come,’ Jesus said, ‘and the Kingdom of God is near!
Turn away from your sins and believe the Good News!’” (Mark 1:15, GNB)

Jesus’ message is direct and compelling. The Kingdom of God is at hand. It is at the threshold of people’s lives. This is God’s time. It is near. With such a demanding message – “You must change your hearts and minds and believe the Good News” (J.B. Phillips’ translation) – a radical response must be made. Maybe that was one of the reason why the four fishermen – Peter, Andrew, James and John – instantly “left their nets and went with Jesus” (Mark 1:18, 20). He was radical.

This part is very interesting for 3 reasons. First, usually it was their custom that the pulpits who decide which rabbi or teacher that they want to follow. But here we read that Jesus was the one who called them, “Come with me” (Mark 1:17). Secondly, instead of choosing the intellectual and well-taught religious leaders, Jesus chose ordinary men. Not stupid nor special neither, just ordinary men. Thirdly, the disciples were busy doing their daily business when Jesus called them. It shows that He desire to use their fishing skills and to teach them to “become fishers of men” (Mark 1:17, KJV). He was radical.


As I read Mark 1:14-19, looking for more insight and understanding, I was reminded that the Scripture is not for me to (merely) gather information but to allow it to transformed my life from the inside out. Based on all of the above, many challenging questions arise as I started to think this way: Do I really understand what did Jesus mean by the Kingdom of God? What does it have to do with me and us today? Have I turned away from my sins daily? Am I proclaiming the Kingdom of God now and asking people to repent from their sins?

Have I set my personal agendas and ambitions (my ‘fishing net’) aside to follow Him? Have I take initiative to witness about the Good News recently? Am I being prejudice towards other people when it comes to evangelism? Have I neglect the ordinary people?  Am I a fisher of men? Have I use my talents and gifts to serve others for God?
[These questions and more begin to change me. Jesus is still radical]

You should ask these kinds of questions too
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