Stay focussed on the Job at hand

February 4, 2024
Stay focussed on the Job at hand

Scripture Reading:  Mark 1: 38 (NIV)

Jesus replied, “Let us go somewhere else—to the nearby villages—so I can preach there also. That is why I have come.”

Message:  Stay focussed on the Job at hand

Ministry of movement

Jesus’ ministry for three years on this earth was a ministry of movement

In the time of three years He had to maximize his impact 

He could not do that by remaining in one place - He had to move around

It was question of doing what He had to do to impact the lives of as many people as possible

They lived in a area where many traders passed through

They lived in a time when the Roman Empire was ruling with an iron fist, but that allowed travel on these trade routes - think in terms of free trade agreements that allows entry without Visas today

Even language barriers was addressed by the common language spoken in the empire - Greek 

That is why the New Testament was recorded in Greek, although Jesus Himself spoke Hebrew

It is like English today - the common trade language around the world

Everything was set for the ministry that would change the world forever 

Jesus had to get moving to reach as many people possible in the limited time of three years

Reading from Mark 1: 38, we might find it a bit abrupt for Jesus to just say: “Let us go somewhere else—to the nearby villages—so I can preach there also.

We need to understand these word in the context of the nature of Jesus ministry - a ministry of movement

Understanding the task at hand

Jesus also said: “That is why I have come”

He came to save mankind and He was doing that though direct personal impact in his ministry of movement

Before He died on the cross - He left a legacy of unconditional love and care for people

Jesus did not just come and died on the cross and left again - He died on the cross in the context of ministry and connection and impact that He had in the lives of people

And in doing this, Jesus moved around

He impacted the lives of the people that crossed his path

It was so opposite to the traditional way of a Rabbi 

Rabbi’s had a base synagogue from where they preached their teachings 

And the audiences were restricted to Jewish men of a certain age

Here is Rabbi, that not only moved out of the setting of a synagogue, but also impacted so many lives - women, children, sinners, lepers, possessed, Romans, Egyptians, Samaritans, slaves…

We need to understand how profoundly revolutionary the ministry of Jesus was for his time

He came to change lives - wherever He went and whoever crossed His path

And today we have these wonderful stories of encounters with Jesus 

Today this ministry of movement is still happening where the stories of Jesus changing lives are told, so that lives are still impacted and changed

It is ongoing today…

Being present

I am always struck that, despite being in a ministry of movement, Jesus always managed to be fully present in the moment 

People that had encounters with Jesus felt his focus on them profoundly 

Is it not something we all long for - to be fully seen and fully heard?

To experience the full presence of someone in our lives?

I sometimes wonder if this technological world we live in have not deprived us from feeling that people are fully present with us

We don’t sit with each other anymore 

There always something else that needs to be done that brings me to say:  I don’t have time…

We have unlearned the ability to be fully present in the moment

But it is something we can re-learn 

We can put our technology away

We can shut out the distractions

We can re-learn to make eye contact

We can re-learn to rally listen

Being fully present does not have to take up a lot of time when it done properly

We can do well as a family of faith to grow in the way we are present with each other and in the community where we live

Focus on calling

As Christians we are called to be part of the ministry of movement 

Perhaps ministry of movement means that we should rethink our pre-conceived ideas of what church should be?

Perhaps we should be less concerned about the numbers of people coming to the synagogue and more concerned with the impact we have in the world

Surely Jesus is not calling us to fill pews!

I hear Jesus saying:  “As the father sent me, I send you!

And we live in world that is in dire need of the love of Jesus!

We tend to complicate this calling and think that we are not cut out to do that - that thing of leaving the preaching the those are qualified for it

What if we can simplify calling today by starting with simply understanding that we are called to be more present where we move?

Surely we can impact the world by touching lives in the way we are present with the people we come across?

My life has been touched by love of Jesus - that is enough reason for me to be more present with people I encounter

I don’t have to enrol into seminary to be able to do that!

So, let’s take away all the distractions and excuses and start to focus on the job at hand

Let’s start moving around like Jesus did, not sitting around waiting for everything to come to us

Let’s practise being fully present where we come, because we have the love Jesus in our hearts

If we can do this more, I am sure that our community will be changed by the love of Jesus

Let’s get moving! 


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