As Jesus walked beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. 17 “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” 18 At once they left their nets and followed him.
19 When he had gone a little farther, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John in a boat, preparing their nets. 20 Without delay he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men and followed him. Mark 1:16-20

This is so awesome. Jesus was a rabbi with authority, but unlike any other rabbi with authority in Israel, past or present, His authority was not conferred by men but affirmed by the Father and the Spirit. As a rabbi, He would recruit disciples, learners who would become imitators so that His yoke would be passed on to as many people as possible.

Jesus did not recruit His disciples from the school of theorists but from the school of life – from people who lived in the world of everyday events, experiences, emotions and environments. Into this scene He plunged, with His message, “God is here!” Did that scare people? Only until He began to show them the disposition of the God whose presence He had come to announce.

Unlike the yoke of the other rabbis who had authority, Jesus announced that the God He represented forgave sin and, to show it, He healed sickness and disease, straightened deformed bodies and even overturned premature death. In the presence of God, devils fled in terror and fear was replaced with shalom.

The other rabbis placed burdens on people. Jesus lifted burdens, removed guilt, filled people’s hearts with joy and hope. He showed them that He fulfilled all the requirements of the Law which was given to them to show them God’s best way to live.  The law taught them how impossible self-effort really was, and mirrored in sacrifices and rituals what He had already accomplished before time began.

Those who heard His invitation gladly dropped what they were doing and grabbed their second chance to be the rabbi’s disciples. To them it was the highest honour anyone could bestow on them. It was an unexpected opportunity they could not miss. They were to follow so closely that they would be covered with the dust of their rabbi, symbolising His favour showered on them, one by one, as they walked behind Him and learned to imitate Him, living, like Him, in God’s “here and now.”

Categories: Bible Study Tags: , ,

Luella Campbell

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