APR 7, 2019: CALLED BY THE KING (MARK 1:1-20)*

The gospel isn’t advice: It’s the good news that you don’t need to earn your way to God; Jesus has already done it for you. And it’s a gift that you receive by sheer grace—through God’s thoroughly unmerited favor. If you seize that gift and keep holding on to it, then Jesus’s call won’t draw you into fanaticism or moderation. You will be passionate to make Jesus your absolute goal and priority, to orbit around him; yet when you meet somebody with a different set of priorities, a different faith, you won’t assume that they’re inferior to you. You’ll actually seek to serve them rather than oppress them. 

Why? Because the gospel is not about choosing to follow advice; it’s about being called to follow a King. Not just someone with the power and authority to tell you what needs to be done—but someone with the power and authority to do what needs to be done, and then to offer it to you as good news.

Where do we see that kind of authority? Jesus’s baptism has already been attended by supernatural signs that announce his divine authority. Then we see Simon, Andrew, James, and John follow Jesus without delay—so his call itself has authority. Mark continues to build on this theme:

“They went to Capernaum, and when the Sabbath came, Jesus went into the synagogue and began to teach. The people were amazed at his teaching, because he taught them as one who had authority, not as the teachers of the law.”
(Mark 1:21–22)

Mark uses the term authority for the first time; the word literally means “out of the original stuff.” It comes from the same root as the word author. Mark means that Jesus taught about life with original rather than derived authority.

What would your life look and feel like if you fully surrendered to this perfect King? Your work life? Love life? Family life? Financial life? Social life?

*Excerpt from Jesus the King by Timothy Keller. 

This week’s Bible reading schedule:

Monday: Mark 9:30-50 Thursday: Mark 11
Tuesday: Mark 10:1-31 Friday: Mark 12:1-27
Wednesday: Mark 10:32-52 Saturday: Mark 12:28-44