Thursday, January 21, 2021

Friday prior to Epiphany 3—


Mark 1:14-20—Jesus begins His ministry and calls four disciples. Jesus has been ordained in His ministry at His baptism. He struggles with Satan in deciding upon the method of His ministry. With John the Baptist arrested, He feels the urge to begin His public ministry. He begins to preach in Galilee.

The content of His preaching is the gospel of God, the good news that the King is here. In the light of this, people are believing and repenting. Faith and repentance are not necessarily conditions of bringing or entering the Kingdom, but the response to the fact that the Kingdom is here in Jesus. Then, Jesus begins to choose His leaders by calling four men whose future will be catching men.

Jesus immediately called certain ones to be disciples. He knew whom he wanted and needed. He did not have to weigh the matter. There was no problem of making up His mind. In like manner, the Disciples accepted the call. To be a Christian one does not need neither to weight doctrinal matters nor to consider theological alternatives. There is the certainty of responding to the challenge of the call to follow the Master. There is no hesitation, no need to think it over. In an instant one knows it is the right thing to do. 

The Gospel is a good report, discourse and proclamation of Christ, announcing that He is nothing else but pure goodness, love and grace. Such a report could not possibly be made concerning any other human being, or any of the saints. For, although the other saints were men of quite good repute, a report on them does not constitute the Gospel as such. It is Gospel only when the goodness and grace of Christ are proclaimed. Even though mention is made of famous saints and their doings, this does not make the report the Gospel. The Gospel bases Christian faith and confidence solely on the rock, Jesus Christ.  (Martin Luther) [1]

Almighty and everlasting God, mercifully look upon our infirmities and stretch forth the hand of Your majesty to heal and defend us; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen[2]


[1] Luther’s Works: American Edit Edition. 55 volumes.(Volumes 1-30, Concordia Publishing House; volumes 31 31-55, Fortress Press)
[2] Collect for Epiphany 3, Lutheran Service Book © 2006 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis
Schnorr von Carolsfeld, woodcuts  © WELS Permission to use these copyrighted items is limited to personal and congregational use.


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