I love that we are reading Mark as we prepare for our Easter celebrations. Jesus’ life and ministry on earth is like nothing else. After He was baptized and began His mission, people started questioning His every move. Why do you associate with sinners, even eating and drinking with them? What sort of new teaching is this, even evil spirits obey you? Why don’t you stay and teach these people more? Why must we leave and travel elsewhere when you have followers here? Why are you healing people in the name of God? Who do you think you are, God? Why don’t you and your disciples fast like the other religious leaders? Why do you hold the rules of Sabbath so loosely?
Jesus came to do things differently. He came to do things only He could do in the way only He could do them. People generally don’t like doing things differently. We like to have our lists and check things off and feel like we have accomplished something. I know I do. I even write things on my ‘to do list’ that I have already done so I can feel the satisfaction of checking it off. Jesus came to show us that faith in Him is so much different than checking off a list. It would be much easier if we could: Church on Sunday, check. Small group during the week, check. Give to the church, check. Volunteer, check. Pray, check. There’s something about that kind of faith that puts us in control, not Jesus. When Jesus came, He shook some stuff up! People didn’t like it. They wanted to feel like they were in control of their faith. I do the same thing. Following Jesus however is not much like checking off a ‘to do list.’ He wants your trust, obedience, and love every day. It’s much more than a list. It’s deciding to give Him your heart. He did the one thing none of us could ever do. Not even the most organized, disciplined list keeper could do. He took the punishment for our sins so we could have a life everlasting in His glorious presence. So, don’t ditch your list. All those disciplines are good and beneficial. But don’t be deceived either. They are not enough. Believing in and following Jesus will always be only two boxes you need to check.
Director of Family Life Ministry