3rd Sunday before Advent 11.11.12 Mark 1.14-20

3 11 2012

This is the Moment

This passage from the first chapter of Mark’s gospel gives a sense of the urgency of the gospel message. It is about now.

Mark 1. 14-20

Now after John was arrested, Jesus came to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God, 15and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news.’

16 As Jesus passed along the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake—for they were fishermen. 17And Jesus said to them, ‘Follow me and I will make you fish for people.’ 18And immediately they left their nets and followed him. 19As he went a little farther, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John, who were in their boat mending the nets. 20Immediately he called them; and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men, and followed him.


To help give shape to the reflection I am going to suggest three types of question: head questions, heart questions and hand questions. They are about our intellectual response, our emotional response and our practical or behavioural response.  I hope that you will want to work at all three levels. You might prefer to stay in one area. But beware of staying in your comfort zone. That’s rarely where profound preaching comes from.

‘Head Questions’

  1. What did Jesus mean by ‘the good news of God’?  (good news  = gospel, but what does that mean in everyday terms?)
  2. What does it mean to say that ‘the kingdom of God has come near’?
  3. Why was Jesus concerned to call practical men – and siblings – to be in his band of followers?

‘Heart Questions’

  1. How do you feel when someone says, ‘stop that, now do this’?
  2. And does the word ‘immediately’ reduce or exacerbate your  feelings?
  3. How do you think those busy working fishermen felt when Jesus called them to stop and follow?

‘Hand Questions’

  1. What, if anything, are you ready to be called to now?
  2. Do you have anything to say about the closeness – or distance – of the kingdom of God?
  3. What are you going to do about sharing your faith this week?


These questions are intended to challenge you to engage more closely with the passage and to hear and feel what it has to say to you.  That’s more than a five-minute task. And so is the follow-up – working out what you might want to say to others as a result of engaging with the passage with head, heart and hands.  Take your time.