Mark 1 Lesson

Having A Sense Of Urgency About Our Faith

INTRODUCTION TO THE BOOK OF MARK

Today we begin our study on the Gospel of Mark.  Mark is made up of sixteen chapters and is the shortest of the four gospels (Mathew 28 chapters, Luke 24 chapters, John 21 chapters). It was written by Mark in approximately 55-65 AD. 

There are four points that we will highlight during our introduction to the Gospel of Mark:

  1. The word “Immediately” is used forty times in the Gospel of Mark – more than anywhere else in the New Testament.  In this gospel, you will see people acting on theirfaithwith a sense of urgency!In the same way, we should not hesitate to act on our faith when the Spirit compels us to act,
  2. Jesus did not come to be served, but to serve.  Mark writes in chapter Mark 10:43-45, “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”  He also writes in Mark 8:34-37, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.  For whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s shall save it.  For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul?  For what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?”
  3. There are eighteen miracles recorded in this, the shortest of all the Gospels,
  4. Almost half of Mark’s Gospel is devoted to the final eight days of Jesus’ life here on earth.

HAVING A SENSE OF URGENCY ABOUT OUR FAITH

As mentioned earlier, the word “Immediately” appears forty times in the Gospel of Mark. As we read Mark’s words, we need to focus on the people that acted on their faith immediately and notice how they did not wait until “the perfect time,” or until “things slowed down a little” in their lives. They did not make any excuses. They knew what the right thing to do was, and what would be pleasing to God, and they did it! That is what we hope you take away from today’s lesson.

TWO SETS OF BROTHERS ACTING ON THEIR FAITH

Once we understand the good news of the Gospel, we need to act immediately, and with a sense of urgency, the same way these two sets of brothers did when Jesus called his first disciples:

  1. SIMON AND ANDREW:“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 become fishers of men.’ Immediately they left their nets and followed Him.”Mark 1:16-18,
  2. JAMES AND JOHN:“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. Immediately He called them; and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired servants, and went away to follow Him.” –Mark 1:19:20.

Both sets of brothers were pierced in their hearts, and both acted on their faith immediately, and so should we!

GOD WILL PROVIDE OPPORTUNITIES FOR US TO ACT ON OUR FAITH

There will be times in our lives when we feel like God is calling us to do something, the same way that Jesus called the two sets of brothers. When this happens, will we be like these disciples who acted immediately?  Or will we find an excuse not to act? 

Satan will do his best to distract us while trying to convince us that we do not need to act on our faith. He may even bring doubters into our lives who provide excuses for us not to act.   If we are not careful, we can get talked out of following God’s plan for us, which would be a tragedy.  We cannot let that happen!

We need to remind ourselves how pleased God is when we act immediately on our faith and put our trust in His plan, not ours.

God wants us to be people of strong faith that are always ready to act to bring glory to Him and serve others.

CONCLUSION

As we read the Gospel of Mark, we will observe many times where the Spirit moved people to act immediately on their faith. We will see examples of people that stopped what they were doing to follow Jesus.

There is nothing preventing us from doing the same!  All that we need is faith in Jesus, which we obtain through the reading of God’s word. 

  • “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God.” – Romans 10:17.

As we read the Gospel, we need to open our hearts and our minds to God’s message and determine what we are being called to do. 

Then we need to act on our faith!

It really is as simple as that.

We will conclude today’s lesson with the following verse about the importance of acting on our faith:

  • “What use is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone says he has faith, but he has no works? Can that faith save him?  If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, and one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace, be warmed and be filled,’ yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that?  In the same way, faith also, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself.” – James 2:14-17.

Comments

Dan W

Thank you for pointing out the urgency reflected in the word “immediately”. We need to be urgent about spiritual things

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Mustang

Jesus had compassion. He healed many. He also valued quiet time and quiet spaces, as is evidenced in this chapter of Mark where He got up early, before sunrise, and went to pray.

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