God’s Guiding Word: Discipleship
Mark 1:1–20: Mark’s Gospel, the shortest (and perhaps oldest) of the four Gospels, presents the story of Jesus in a straightforward, vigorous way, with emphasis on what Jesus did, portraying Jesus as a man of action and authority. Today’s reading opens with the preaching of John the Baptist, presented as the forerunner to Jesus, and with Jesus’s baptism in the Jordan River by John. Following his baptism, Jesus spends forty days in the desert where he is tempted by Satan. Upon his return to Galilee, he begins preaching the Good News and invites four fishermen to follow him.
1 This is the Good News about Jesus Christ, the Son of God.[a] 2 It began as the prophet Isaiah had written:
“God said, ‘I will send my messenger ahead of you
to open the way for you.’
3 Someone is shouting in the desert,
‘Get the road ready for the Lord;
make a straight path for him to travel!’”
4 So John appeared in the desert, baptizing and preaching.[b] “Turn away from your sins and be baptized,” he told the people, “and God will forgive your sins.” 5 Many people from the province of Judea and the city of Jerusalem went out to hear John. They confessed their sins, and he baptized them in the Jordan River.
6 John wore clothes made of camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and his food was locusts and wild honey. 7 He announced to the people, “The man who will come after me is much greater than I am. I am not good enough even to bend down and untie his sandals. 8 I baptize you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”
The Baptism and Temptation of Jesus
9 Not long afterward Jesus came from Nazareth in the province of Galilee, and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10 As soon as Jesus came up out of the water, he saw heaven opening and the Spirit coming down on him like a dove. 11 And a voice came from heaven, “You are my own dear Son. I am pleased with you.”
12 At once the Spirit made him go into the desert, 13 where he stayed forty days, being tempted by Satan. Wild animals were there also, but angels came and helped him.
Jesus Calls Four Fishermen
14 After John had been put in prison, Jesus went to Galilee and preached the Good News from God. 15 “The right time has come,” he said, “and the Kingdom of God is near! Turn away from your sins and believe the Good News!”
16 As Jesus walked along the shore of Lake Galilee, he saw two fishermen, Simon and his brother Andrew, catching fish with a net. 17 Jesus said to them, “Come with me, and I will teach you to catch people.” 18 At once they left their nets and went with him.
19 He went a little farther on and saw two other brothers, James and John, the sons of Zebedee. They were in their boat getting their nets ready. 20 As soon as Jesus saw them, he called them; they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men and went with Jesus.
Today’s Key Verse: Mark 1:15
“The right time has come,” [Jesus] said, “and the Kingdom of God is near! Turn away from your sins and believe the Good News!”
Reread verse 15. What is your understanding of the “Good News” that Jesus speaks of? Why do you think the four fishermen chose to follow Jesus? In what ways do you demonstrate that you are a follower of Jesus?
Lord Jesus, in you God’s Kingdom has come near. Open my heart and mind to hear and receive the Good News you preach as I seek to follow you. Empower me with your Holy Spirit to be a messenger of your Good News of repentance, forgiveness, and salvation. In your holy name, I pray. Amen.
Mark 1:21–45: Jesus begins his public ministry.