This week we are looking at Mark’s gospel. In the first verse of our reading this week we have the following line, “Now after John was arrested…” It is an ominous way to begin a reading and a difficult one on which to build a ministry. We are only fourteen verses into Mark’s gospel and we learn that John the Baptist has been arrested. The arrest comes because John is teaching a message of repentance for sins.
In the verses to follow Jesus will proclaim the same message that John did. We all know how John’s story ends and we know how Jesus’ story ends. If we consider it just as a narrative about a political agitator we might be worried. However, we are aware of a greater truth about who Jesus is and what his death and resurrection means for us.
What we do need to consider is the arrests. Both John and Jesus are arrested because they expressed a view which I believe to be necessary and true. However, the necessity and truth of a message does not make it popular. I would also argue that this message is one that the world today needs to hear and witness. The problem is even in a post-Christian society no one wants to hear this message. It makes me wonder if I should be worried about getting arrested.
Our reading from Mark is about the calling of disciples. However, those disciples are called under the shadow of John’s arrest. To what degree are we willing to follow Jesus?
Text: Mark 1: 14-20
Questions for Sunday:
- How do you feel about John and Jesus being arrested for sharing the good news of God’s kingdom?
- What do you feel is an effective way to share the Good news?
- What does it mean to fish for people?
Prayer for Sunday:
Heavenly Father, you are my rock and my salvation. In you I am secure, I trust you with all things. Protect me from the powers of this world which seek to lead me away from you O God. Make my paths straight and may I always walk within your loving and redeeming light. In Jesus name, Amen.