Friday, January 08, 2016

On Faith

"Let go" is my phrase for 2016. I decided to start my study of "let go" with Jesus in the book of Mark. Why the book of Mark? Mostly because I read the book of Matthew most recently and Mark comes after Matthew. After I read an Old Testament book, I'll probably go back to John. But, Mark it is for the moment.

16 As Jesus walked beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. 17 “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” 18 At once they left their nets and followed him.
19 When he had gone a little farther, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John in a boat, preparing their nets. 20 Without delay he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men and followed him.
This was the section that caught my eye today, although the whole first chapter of Mark is good - you should go read it.
I've always wondered about the serious lack of dialogue here. Jesus comes up to these guys and says, "Come, follow me." And they do. Does he introduce himself first? Does he say, "Hey, guys, remember me? I'm the guy that was preaching on the hillside last night." We don't get any of that context. We have to assume that they knew who Jesus was and that they were inclined to follow this itinerant preacher.
We also don't find out what Zebedee thought about his two sons going off after this traveling preacher dude. I mean, Zebedee is a fisherman and his sons work with him. We have to assume that they are young men, so they must be contributing a good bit to the business. And, now they're off on what seems like a wild goose chase. I wonder if they had done this before. Were they young hotheads who followed every new preacher who came around? Did Zebedee figure they'd be back in a few days after this one couldn't feed them? I have no idea. Just some random thoughts.
How does this passage affect me and my "let go"? Part of "letting go" is that I'm "letting go" of things I don't need and holding more tightly to Jesus. How do we follow Jesus? These guys put down their livelihood to follow Jesus. Yes, they may have been young hotheads who did this every time a new preacher came around, but this time, it stuck. They all died martyr's deaths.
When we're called to follow Jesus, we're told to have faith. My dad likes to remind us that the word "faith" means to unite life. When we have faith in Jesus, we unite our life with His. The disciples had enough faith to leave their jobs and unite their lives with Jesus.
That's my ultimate goal. To live my life completely united with Jesus. At that point, "letting go" of stuff, worries, excess baggage, etc. should be pretty natural.
How do we get faith? How do we live a life united with Jesus? Ah, more on that next time. But, I suspect there's spiritual disciplines but lots of grace.
What are your thoughts on the topic?

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