The Movement of Jesus - Mark 1:16-45

How do you imagine the people you find yourself organically surrounded by (neighbors, co-workers, classmates, etc.) would answer, “What is the meaning of life? Where do we find purpose, ultimate joy, or fulfillment?”

  • The Jesus movement means three things: (1) Being a part of a Christian community, (2) Relying uniquely on the authority of Jesus, and (3) Having a soft heart of compassion for all types of people around us. 
  • We are called to be “fishers of men” because of our compassion for others. 
  • We know we can have a meaningful life with all of this in mind because we are now a part of something bigger than ourselves. 
  • Along with this meaning comes joy, fulfillment, and purpose in whatever we find ourselves doing.

Mark 1:16-45
16 Passing alongside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew the brother of Simon casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. 17 And Jesus said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you become fishers of men.” 18 And immediately they left their nets and followed him. 19 And going on a little farther, he saw James the son of Zebedee and John his brother, who were in their boat mending the nets. 20 And immediately he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired servants and followed him.

21 And they went into Capernaum, and immediately on the Sabbath he entered the synagogue and was teaching. 22 And they were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as one who had authority, and not as the scribes. 23 And immediately there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit. And he cried out, 24 “What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God.” 25 But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be silent, and come out of him!” 26 And the unclean spirit, convulsing him and crying out with a loud voice, came out of him. 27 And they were all amazed, so that they questioned among themselves, saying, “What is this? A new teaching with authority! He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey him.” 28 And at once his fame spread everywhere throughout all the surrounding region of Galilee.

29 And immediately he left the synagogue and entered the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John. 30 Now Simon’s mother-in-law lay ill with a fever, and immediately they told him about her. 31 And he came and took her by the hand and lifted her up, and the fever left her, and she began to serve them.

32 That evening at sundown they brought to him all who were sick or oppressed by demons. 33 And the whole city was gathered together at the door. 34 And he healed many who were sick with various diseases, and cast out many demons. And he would not permit the demons to speak, because they knew him.

35 And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed. 36 And Simon and those who were with him searched for him, 37 and they found him and said to him, “Everyone is looking for you.” 38 And he said to them, “Let us go on to the next towns, that I may preach there also, for that is why I came out.” 39 And he went throughout all Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and casting out demons.

40 And a leper came to him, imploring him, and kneeling said to him, “If you will, you can make me clean.” 41 Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand and touched him and said to him, “I will; be clean.” 42 And immediately the leprosy left him, and he was made clean. 43 And Jesus sternly charged him and sent him away at once, 44 and said to him, “See that you say nothing to anyone, but go, show yourself to the priest and offer for your cleansing what Moses commanded, for a proof to them.” 45 But he went out and began to talk freely about it, and to spread the news, so that Jesus could no longer openly enter a town, but was out in desolate places, and people were coming to him from every quarter.
  • What are the things in your life that you can sometimes mistake for providing true meaning?  Do you ever find yourself placing too much emphasis or value on your job? Hobbies? Relationships? Have these things ever let you down?
  • Are there certain circumstances that seem to trick you into thinking that these things provide actual value?

  • Can you think of a challenging circumstance where this idea put a new lens on your life?  Think back on that moment and ask, “What did I need to know then that I know now?”
  • It was Jesus' compassion that led him to serve those around him; where does your compassion profoundly influence you?  Who are you drawn to that could benefit from your compassion?
  • With both of these questions answered above, discuss how a Christian community aids in doing this well.  How does it support this mission?

  • As fishers of men, we are all called to step into the world and disrupt the typical patterns that we see around us.  How would you present this message to the people in your life who don’t know Jesus in an engaging, compelling, and thought-provoking way?
  • Where do you sense our culture would push back (reflect on the warm-up question)? Would any of the other “life meanings” confront this?

Father God, we thank you for the gift of Christian community and for calling us into something bigger than ourselves.  In you alone, we find true meaning and purpose. Father, let us see this with clarity and let it impact all the workings and activities of our lives. Amen.