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Reflections On “A Ransom For Many” — 2

Updated: May 17, 2020

Daniel Tan

Mark 1:14-45

Why fishermen? Have you ever wondered this question? Why would Jesus pick fishermen of all people to become disciples to follow him?

Perhaps it is because fishermen were patient and persevering. If you've ever tried your hand at fishing you'll know how much of a wait reeling a single fish can be at times. Depending on the conditions, you might be waiting minutes to hours for a catch. Patience is something that is far and fleeting in today's society. We want things and we want them yesterday. But even if everything in the world becomes easy to get, people are often the biggest test of patience. Sometimes you just have to be patient and wait for people to respond. Some have waited months or even decades before someone they were reaching out to decided to take the next step. Our time isn't always the right time after all.

On the topic of fishermen, the same people that Jesus chose also left what they had on hand to follow him. It is probably impossible not to leave certain parts of life behind if you decide to become a Christian. There are things that simply don't agree with the way that Christians are called to live. It is not switching from freedom to a restrictive lifestyle. Rather, it is switching from a lifestyle mired in other, perhaps spiritually unhealthy, things. In the same way that if you wanted to live a healthier lifestyle you would start to exercise and diet, if you want to live as a Christian there are things that need to be changed in your life.

At the same time, just as James says in James 2:19, “you believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that — and shudder.” Just because we claim Christ as our Saviour or the fact that we know about God does not mean anything. If our actions don’t replicate what is desired and instructed of Christians, we are no better off than if we had not sought out Christ in the first place. Heck, we're probably in a worse position because now we claim to see as the Pharisees did.

As Jesus himself said in John 9:41, “If you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin; but now that you claim you can see, your guilt remains.” If you say you are a Christian, you are called to prove it through your actions, in how you treat people and how you go about each day. It is not only when you share the gospel or go to church but at every point in your life whether or not someone is near.

The idea of discipleship back then was a relationship that was closer even than parent and child. It was a decision made by both parties to accept. A disciple was meant to follow in his teacher's footsteps both literally and metaphorically. To learn and to absorb everything the teacher had to say. To be called as a disciple was to be called to a high standard and a higher honour.

Therefore, as disciples of Christ we must emulate and try to practice the ways of our teacher. Just as our teacher loved and sacrificed, so too are we called to love and sacrifice. Just as he was holy and righteous without fault, so too are we called to be holy and righteous without fault.

Daniel Tan

Daniel is currently and forevermore will be a student and a learner, trying to delve into the deep conundrums of life and seeing where the path leads. He enjoys linking different things in life back to God through strange and seemingly random connections.

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