Mark 1:18 - They immediately left their nets and followed Him.
I was struck by how many times in the first two chapters of Mark the word immediately was written. We often hear how we must wait upon the Lord. But here there is an immediacy. God moved in the hearts of men and He moved in the life of Christ.
Mark 1:20 - And immediately He called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat...and went after Him.
Mark 1:21 - Then they went into Capernaum, and immediately on the Sabbath He entered the synagogue and taught.
Mark 1:28 - And immediately His fame spread...
Mark 1:31 - So He came and took her by the hand and lifted her up, and immediately the fever was gone.
Mark 1:42 - As soon as He had spoken, immediately the leprosy left him, and he was cleansed.
Mark 2: 2 - Immediately many gathered together, so that there was no longer room to receive them...
Mark 2:12 - Immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went out in the presence of them all, so that all were amazed and glorified God.
Our salvation is the most important thing we can have. We can have prominence, a great job, fortune, family, all good things, but if we do not have a relationship with Christ Jesus our Lord, nothing else means a darn thing. As we study the Book of Ecclesiastes on Sunday mornings we see how Job struggled with the concept of "nothing new under the sun," that nothing we do is new, is vanity and a "grasping for the wind," or "vexation of the spirit" as another Bible translation states. So what's the point of life, is ultimately Job's question.
I've said this in previous blogs...the answer is at the end of Ecclesiastes! If we all live to strive for things in life, things that satisfy self, just like everyone else has, and we still die (and cannot take anything with us), what's the whole point of life? We get hurt, we are rejected, we do stupid things, we lose at this or that, we are successful here or there. So as someone we all know recently said, "What's the point!?" The point is we need Jesus.
With Jesus there was an immediacy in and to His life. When He was baptized, He was immediately filled with the Spirit that He might be able to do many other things...with an immediacy. His disciples immediately followed Him; there had to have been something so amazing about Jesus that they couldn't help but drop what they did and immediately follow Him. He was quickly (immediately) making a name for Himself. What He did brought immediate results. The crowds grew, His reputation grew.
So where am I going with all this? There can be an immediate response to the call of Christ in our lives. If we make the decision to drop all and follow Him, we have heard His call. We are immediately filled with the same Spirit that Jesus was filled with. We experience the healing He provided for so many people in His day. But the healing is not always physical, although it can be...it's strictly up to God. The healing is spiritual. Our eternal lives are at stake when that call of His comes and we immediately follow.
I didn't follow immediately when I first heard the message. I didn't get it. But the Lord was persistent in His own way until one day I heard and immediately responded...and healed and set free from the bondage of sin. It was immediate. Did I know this? No. Did I think I was a sinner? No. But now there was something so powerful and commanding about being called by God to follow that I had to respond immediately.
Jesus came to heal our spiritual blindness, the idea that we can be self-made or self-sufficient. He came to heal broken or hard-hearted hearts. He came to heal the worst of the worst and I would venture to say in His eyes we all fall into that category. He came to save all people. There is as much an immediacy today as then. If we see what the Bible tells us about Jesu we get a better understanding of what He can do...even today.
The moment we give up and give ourselves to the Lord we are healed. We have taken that immediate step. If we think we do not need Him, that we are good on our own we believe one of the oldest lies known, going back to the Garden of Eden. He has come to save us all from this lie of self-righteousness, apart from God. We cannot live our lives without Him...which is what Job moaned about for about 41 chapters!! Our lives are meaningless without Him and we are sinners to death. Even with Him we will die a physical death but if we are in Christ there is eternal life. And in the end all new lives in Christ glorify God. We are all sinners with an opportunity to be saved by grace.
..."Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance." ...for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.” (Mark 2:17, Luke 19:10)