Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Immediately - Mark 1:16-20

"And as He was going along by the Sea of Galilee, He saw Simon and Andrew, the brother of Simon, casting a net in the sea; for they were fishermen. And Jesus said to them, 'Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.' And they immediately left the nets
and followed Him. And going on a little farther, He saw James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, who were also in the boat mending the nets. And immediately He called them; and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired servants, and went away to follow Him." (Mark 1:16-20)

Each year as I read over this passage I am convicted by the use of the word "immediately" as it is used to describe the actions of these first disciples. Jesus calls and "immediately" Simon and Andrew get up and leave everything they have ever known to follow One whom they have just now met. The same thing is true of James and John. "Immediately" Jesus calls and they show no sign of hesitation in leaving their father, their friends, their home, their job, their possessions, their life. "Immediately" they set off following this Carpenter turned Prophet.

There is much to be learned and much to be emulated in the actions of these brothers of ours. They teach us, as Matthew Henry says, that "those whom Christ calls must leave all to follow Him and by His grace He inclines them to do so. We must sit loose to this world, and forsake everything that is inconsistent with our duty to Christ."


What about me? Am I an "immediately" kind of gal? Am I willing to get up and go when He calls? Am I willing to leave all to follow my Savior? Am I a first response sort of sister when it comes to the clear commands of the Word of God or would I rather play it safe and hang out on the sidelines? Sadly, I far too often ponder the possibilities, argue through all the options, and philosophize on whether or not God really means what He has said.

"Surely, Lord you wouldn't have me give this up?!"

"Most certainly you really mean for me to fix this first, or get this deed done, and then get moving!"

"Don't you think I'd do better serving you in this capacity?"

"Not now Lord! How about tomorrow?! I'll be fresher and more capable of doing the job with excellence!"

Oh for grace to be more like Andrew and Simon and James and John. Ultimately, oh for grace to be more like the One whom they followed. He came, immediately, when the Father sent Him. He came in the "fullness of time". He came right on time! He came, "although existing in the form of God, not regarding equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond servant, being made in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross." (Philippians 2:6-8)

Jesus came when called. He left everything for us. No one has EVER been asked to leave more!! May we, by His grace, be made to "have this attitude in ourselves which was also in Christ Jesus."

When He has come to serve us so freely, so willingly, so cheerfully how can we refuse to go and serve Him with such grumbling and complaining and arguing attitudes?

How did Andrew, Simon, James and John leave everything with such immediate obedience and follow? They did it because they saw Jesus, the Pearl of greatest price and in looking at Him, everything else paled in comparison. Are we fretting and fuming or are we following? The determining factor is found in the object of our gaze and in the treasure of our heart. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfector of our faith and let us in light of that run with endurance the race that is set before us. Then and only then will we follow "immediately" and leave all else behind.

Praying for grace to follow,

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