Today we began our reading of the second Gospel, Mark. The book of Mark doesn't begin with a description of Jesus' or John's births. It doesn't talk about Mary and Elizabeth, or list the genealogy of Christ. Instead Mark begins with a look at Jesus' followers.
Mark 1 starts with a description of John the Baptist. We see that John is the fulfillment of the prophecy found in Isaiah about a messanger that will prepare the way for Christ. But more than just an explanation of him being the fulfillment of this prophecy, Mark begins with a description of John himself.
Mark 1:4-8 tells of John as, "baptizing in the wilderness" and "proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins." John is described as "clothed with camel's hair and wore a leather belt around his waist and ate locusts and wild honey." He recognizes that "after me comes he who is mightier than I, the strap of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie."
John is a man who gave his entire life to his ministry. But even this dedication did not steer him from recognizing that he is not greater than the Christ. John sets a great example of complete dedication to Jesus.
Mark 1:16-20 tells of Jesus calling his disciples. As he passed along the Sea of Galilee, Jesus sees Simon and Andrew and tells them to follow him. They dropped their nets and immediately followed Jesus. The same happened when Jesus passed by James and John. These four men dropped their lives to follow after Jesus.
John the Baptist dedicated his entire life to proclaiming the name of Jesus and the disciples gave up everything to do the same.
The rest of chapter 1 and 2 go on to tell all about the ministry of Jesus and his many miracles. But I think it is important for us to focus on the followers of Christ. They set an example for us that I wonder do we mimic. Have we given up our lives to follow and serve Jesus or have we just given up our Sundays? I think it is a question that every believer must ask themselves.