“The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.”
Mark’s Gospel packs a powerful punch in “getting to the point.” For instance, note Jesus’ first recorded words as He begins his ministry in Mark 1.15: “’The time has come,’ he said. ‘The Kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news.’” In the verses immediately following, as Jesus moves and serves among the people of Galilee, he begins to identify the disciples who would form his inner circle and in whom he would invest the next several years of his life. Can we add a Read More link at this point so it’s not so long in the email?
As imitators of Christ, our lives must reflect His priorities, so notice His focus in Mark 1. First, He worked with a sense of urgency. Jesus understood the moment for impact was now, not down the road or somewhere in the past. We too must recognize the urgent immediate need to be engaged in “God’s business.”
Second, Jesus was aware of the “power context” of his ministry. The Kingdom of God was stirring and drawing near to engage people. We also are empowered by the indwelling Holy Spirit and so should live in expectation of God’s transforming love flowing regularly in our lives and in the life of our church.
Third, Jesus’ priority message was the saving Good News and the need for response. Likewise, we and our churches must introduce the message of Jesus’ hope and grace into each relationship and into the communities around us.
Fourth, the location of Jesus’ work was “out there” among people in need of the Gospel. Therefore, those who imitate Christ must minister outside the walls of our churches. Jesus’ decision recorded in Mark 1.35-39 is a pointed reminder that He did not come to stay and gather in one place, but rather to take the message out to those who had not yet heard.
Fifth, Jesus immediately identified a group of disciples with whom he would share life and into whom he would multiply his life and message. Given his example, we must also be intentionally identifying and investing in others who will then multiply that impact.
Mark’s first chapter indicates Jesus’ ministry was marked by urgency, Kingdom power, Gospel proclamation, relational connection where seekers lived, and intentional discipleship. Our lives and ministries must reflect the same priorities.