Thursday, February 19, 2015

Jesus Calls His First Disciples

2.19.2015 Thursday          Mark 1:14-28 Jesus begins His ministry and calls four disciples

There is a right time. To begin, to speak, to stop, to love, to fight. For Jesus there was a right time to begin His ministry. John the Baptizer was arrested for preaching. Jesus saw it as the time to begin His preaching. “The time is fulfilled.” The time of waiting for the Messiah to do His work had come. The season of Lent is a time to preach, to evangelize, to spread the gospel to the world. It is a time to repent. It is a time to believe.

With authority Jesus teaches and drives out an unclean spirit. After calling four disciples, Jesus begins His ministry by teaching in the synagogue at Capernaum. The people are impressed by His authoritative teaching compared with the teaching of the scribes. A man in the congregation has an evil spirit, which addresses Jesus and knows Him to be the Messiah. With authority Jesus commands the demon to leave the man. At the very beginning of His ministry, Jesus comes into conflict with evil powers. As God’s Son He conquers the evil spirit. He does it by exercising His authority as the Son of God, the Savior of the world.[2]

From the time Jesus begins His ministry He is confronted with evil. Evil diseases, evil desires, evil spirits. This will not be the only confrontation. There will be many. They will continue until He yields up His life on a hill called Golgotha. When confronted with evil we can become frightened. We often fail at doing good. We abhor the evil we confront, the evil around us, the evil within us. Thus, we must look to Christ who has confronted, destroyed and conquered the evil one. Although he is defeated the devil rages on. He will press us until we draw our last breath or until the Lord returns on the last great day. We can never encounter the devil and expect victory. Look to Christ who commands the demons to flee, who speaks, teaches and acts with great authority. 

Direct us, O Lord, in all our doings with your most gracious favor, and further us with your continual help; that in all our works begun continued, and ended in you, we may glorify your holy Name, and, finally, by your mercy, obtain everlasting life, through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.[3]

[1] Image by Ed Rioja © Higher Things
[2] Lectionary Preaching Workbook, John Brokhoff, pg. 64-66 © 1981 CSS Publishing, Lima OH
[3] Collect for Thursday after Ash Wednesday,

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