11. Then Jesus said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” -Mark 1:17 Context: Mark 1:16-18
People sometimes say, in a negative way, “You are such a follower!” In these sinful days we are encouraged to carve out our own identity, to be our own person, to follow our heart. But in reality everybody follows somebody, some group, some ideal. Bob Dylan’s famous song said it, You gotta serve somebody!” It’s funny how different groups think they are different, but in reality ‘jocks,’ ‘goths,’ ‘geeks,’ and gangs often act the same no matter what part of the country or world they are in. In the name of non-conformity, there sure is a lot of conformity going on! They all conform to some ideal set by somebody. Christians are known as followers of Christ. Isn’t it interesting that the first trait Jesus identified as being true of those who follow Him is that they would be “fishers of men.” Christians should not be known primarily for big hair, fake smiles, loud suits, the kind of music they listen to, etc… They should be known as those who know Christ and make Him known!
2. When Jesus heard it, He said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” -Mark 2:17 Context: Mark 2:15-17
Never try to push someone who doesn’t sense his or need of Christ to make a decision for Christ. Simply share the truth with them in love and pray for them. Notice clearly in this passage that Jesus wasn’t interested in dealing at that time with those self-righteous people who didn’t view themselves as sinners. But to those who would freely admit that they were sinners, and felt conviction of their sin and wanted to repent and believe, Jesus always responds! What a Savior!
3. “Most assuredly I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.” -John 5:24
What a great promise – those who obey the command to believe in Jesus have passed from death to life! That’s what I call a reliable bridge!
4. “You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; but these are they which testify about Me (Jesus). But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life.” -John 5:39-40
There are a lot of people who have a lot of Bible knowledge that is essentially useless because it has not led them to have a deep, personal, abiding relationship with Christ in which they bear fruit for God. How sad! Don’t let it happen to you! As you pray today, thank Jesus that He is the bridge from death to life for you. Commit that your Bible study will be a means of greater faith in God for you, and increased fruitfulness for you, not just head knowledge.
5. And He (Jesus) said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath. Therefore the Son of Man is also Lord of the Sabbath.” -Mark 2:27-28 Context: Mark 2:23-28
Some church traditions have made the Lord’s Day as restrictive as the Pharisees did with the Sabbath, adding so many restrictions to it that it has become cumbersome for those who observe it. God’s plan for a day of rest and worship has not changed, but these folks sometimes forget that the main emphasis is to be a day of rest devoted to God. When it becomes more about rules than about your relationship with God, watch out! On the other hand, don’t be among those who miss out on God’s wonderful plan in calling us to a regular day of rest and worship! This day helps us re-charge our faith and be ready to face all that is coming in the next week. Guarding the day for it God given purposes is a great blessing to God’s people!