Later on, after John was arrested, Jesus went into Galilee, where he preached Godâ€™s Good News. â€œThe time promised by God has come at last!â€ he announced.â€œThe Kingdom of God is near! Repent of your sins and believe the Good News!â€
One day as Jesus was walking along the shore of the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew throwing a net into the water, for they fished for a living. Jesus called out to them, â€œCome, follow me, and I will show you how to fish for people!â€ And they left their nets at once and followed him. Â Â Â Mark 1:14-18 (NLT)
The Good News. What does that mean? When Jesus spoke these words the people who were listening wanted God to make good on His promises â€“ but they had the idea that meant God would overthrow the Roman government and establish His Kingdom on earth. God had a bigger plan.
Jesus did not change the message that John the Baptist was given to speak (Matthew 3) but reiterated it and built on it. John said he was sent to prepare the way for the Messiah. He was to plow the hard ground and warn the people who had become complacent about God’s promises and remind them that He was coming! Soon!
From the beginning, God told us, His people, that to live with Him â€“ we must be holy (Leviticus 11:44). We must listen and obey Him. A father, like our Father God, teaches his children principles that will give them life tools and parameters that will grow them up to be productive. What children produce come from what they are taught. It seemed that God’s children were not listening very well and so God sent His Son to save and also teach His children how to produce good fruit.
â€œCome and follow Me and I will teach you how to fish â€“ for people!â€ Jesus came to reaffirm that God’s Kingdom was coming but it was no longer just for the Jews. It was for everyone! And those who followed Him, learned from Him, and spent time with Him, were to keep spreading His Good News.
Jesus’ first disciples left their nets â€œat onceâ€ to follow Him. They left what they knew, their livelihood, even their families and followed Him. There’s the example. Follow Jesus first. Keep my eyes on His Kingdom (Matthew 6:19-21, 33) and He will take care of the rest for me (1 Peter 5:6-7).
This week I have been reading the lectionary texts and really thinking about God’s promises. They are many and cover every aspect of my life. He is Father who loves me so much and wants to spend time with me. His promises are about our life; the life He wants to have with all His children.
It is Lent. What am I willing to sacrifice as an offering to the One who sacrificed so much for me?
Mankind, He has told you what is good and what it is the LORD requires of you:
to act justly,
to love faithfulness,
and to walk humbly with your God. Â Â Â Micah 6:8 (HCSB, my emphasis)
That’s Good News.