Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Mark 3:1-19 - Finding followers

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We're only in the third chapter of Mark's Gospel (Mark 3:1-10), yet already the religious leaders are trying to find a way to get rid of Jesus. Although he doesn't say to the man, 'Be healed' (Mark 3:5), they still take the fact of healing as a case of working on the Sabbath.

Jesus' healings and other works are now attracting large crowds and he heads for the Sea of Galilee. And after this he heads up the hillside, calls those he wants, and he chooses twelve to work closely with him.

This is important. Notice that Jesus discriminates between the crowd and his followers, also between them and the twelve. The crowd is interested in what he does and many come because they want something - healing or relief from demonic oppression. Those he wants are looking for much more than healing. They are prepared to climb the steep hillside to hear him, they are committed. And the twelve are the ones he will involve in the details of his work; he will explain the parables to them, send them out to share the good news, to heal, and to throw out demons.

Which group includes you? Are you just looking for some benefit from Jesus? Are you willing to follow him wherever he goes, even when it's hard? Or has he selected you to be a leader?

Well, perhaps it's not quite like that after all. Might it be that we all have an opportunity to pass through these stages in our spiritual lives? Do we begin to show an interest because Jesus is attractive, then believe in him and follow him wherever he goes to see and hear everything he does, and finally work with him under his direction?

Not only is it possible to engage in all these ways, it's also possible to get stuck along the way. Press on for the full adventure with Jesus! [Tweet it!] And where others seem to be stuck, see if you can encourage them on to the next stage.

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