Connections 01.24.2021: To Us

Mark 1:12-20

Jesus came to reveal God to us. This doesn’t mean that God hadn’t revealed God’s self to people before Jesus came. God had done so through creation and through God’s gracious acts in, for, and through Israel. But because Jesus is God’s Son and the Messiah, he revealed God to us in ways that no one or nothing else could do. 

Let’s pause to appropriately stress that Jesus came to reveal God to us. God means for us to receive and to respond to Jesus’ revelation. When we acknowledge that Jesus reveals God to us, we will take that revelation most seriously. After all, we want to know what God’s will and way are, and Jesus reveals God’s will and way to us through the way he lived and through the way he died. So Jesus shows us that to live God’s way is to love, serve, and give.

What will we do in response to Jesus’ revelation of God?

God’s sending Jesus to reveal God to us is an act of great grace. God sent Jesus because God loves us and wants us to be able to know God. And as we come to know God in and through Jesus, we’ll become more and more able to love, serve, and give as God wants us to.

What will we do in response to Jesus’ revelation of our mission?

Well, we all, in concert with God, have to figure that out. The four followers that Jesus called in this week’s Scripture passage were fishermen, so it makes sense that he used fishing language to summon them. Their background and experience no doubt prepared them for the ministry Jesus wanted them to share in. Our background and experience no doubt have also prepared us for the ministry Jesus wants us to share in.

But here’s the thing: we have the great privilege of knowing God through Jesus Christ, so we have the great responsibility of carrying out our mission in Christlike ways.

The four fishermen followed Jesus. They gave their lives away in service to God and to people. Will we?

Discussion

  • What did Jesus call people to do in his preaching? What did he mean by “The time is fulfilled,” by “the kingdom of God has come near,” and by “repent, and believe in the good news” (v. 15)? Why should people repent in light of what Jesus said was underway in him?
  • Mark tells us nothing about the character of the four fishermen. He just tells us that Jesus tells them to follow him. Why might Mark not tell us more about them?
  • What does it mean to “fish for people” (v. 17)? What does it not mean?
  • What do you imagine Zebedee thinking as James and John leave him to follow Jesus?

Michael Ruffin is husband to Debra, father to Joshua (Michelle) and Sara, grandfather to Sullivan and Isabella. A graduate of Mercer University and Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, he has previously served as a pastor and as a university professor. He lives on the Ruffin Family Farm in Yatesville, Georgia. He is the Connections Series Curriculum Editor.

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