Called to Serve
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. “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” At once they left their nets and followed him.
Mark writes his Gospel for the Roman mind. He accompanied Paul on his first missionary journey, but unfortunately he couldn’t take the pressure, so he turned back and went home. Yet, the Holy Spirit chose this man, an unfaithful servant, to record for us the faithfulness of Jesus, the true servant of God.
To meet Mark personally, turn to the 14th chapter for the only account of Mark’s appearance among the disciples.
“A young man, wearing nothing but a linen garment, was following Jesus. When they seized Him, He fled naked, leaving his garment behind.”
No other Gospel tells us this event, and biblical scholars are certain that this is Mark. He was the son of a rich woman in Jerusalem who owned the house in which the disciples met in the upper room. Almost certainly this incident is included because he himself was involved. The whole Gospel is summed up for us in a single simple phrase about the Lord’s purpose and the substance of His character:
“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.”
After a busy time of public ministry, the twelve gave their reports to Jesus. Note that Jesus did not push them right back into action or hurry them onto another assignment.
The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to him all they had done and taught. Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, He said to them, “Come with Me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”
We never read that Jesus “rushed” anywhere. He said, “Come away – and get some rest. ” Jesus is saying simply that renewal and restoration are not luxuries, they’re essentials. Being alone and resting isn’t selfish, it’s Christ-like. Taking your day off each week or rewarding yourself with a vacation is not carnal; it’s spiritual. There is absolutely nothing spiritual about a coronary or a nervous breakdown.
Let’s take a brief appraisal. – Be honest with your answers.
- Do you enjoy most of your activities or just endure them?
- Do you deliberately take time for taking personal restoration?
- Do you choke down your meals or take the time to enjoy them?
- Do you give yourself permission to relax, and/or to be quiet?
- Do other people think you are working too long or under stress?
- Do you take the time to get regular exercise and enough sleep?
- Do you laugh easily? How is your sense of humor doing?
- Do you glorify God in your daily schedule, or does He get the leftovers?
- Do you feel like you’re getting dangerously close to “burn-out”?
- Do you tend to overcompensate and are beginning to “rust out”?
If the light on the dashboard of your heart is flashing red, you are carrying too much too far too fast, and you could be driving on bald tires. You need to pull over, or you and those you love may be sorry. Like a flat along the roadway, if you want to get going, you’ll have to make a change.
Until next time,