His overwhelming love overcame my excuses

evans1.jpgIn Mark 1: 18. It read, “immediately, they left their nets and followed him.”

Ron Jenson in “Making a life not just a living” expressed his concern about our western culture of excuses and blames. According to him, we’re becoming a civilization of blamers and victims. We blame our past, parents, dysfunctions or anything we can think of, for our problems. Citing an example, Jenson shared how an FBI agent embezzled two thousand dollars and subsequently loses it while gambling in Atlantic City. Though he is fired, but he gets reinstated once he convinces the court his tendencies towards gambling with other people’s money was “handicap” protected under federal law. Good excuse! I suppose it helps us blame something on another issue.

As incredible as the above story, I assume James and John in our text should have had some excuses in not wanting to immediately follow Jesus. Maybe if they were like Nick Vujicic of Australia, born without hands and legs, they would have had a better excuse. Nick Vujicic in “your life without limits” wrote; “ I encourage you to rise above attempt to restrict you from exploring and developing your gifts. In a nutshell, “do not make excuses.”

Maybe they should have made some excuses, but they gave their time, and followed Jesus. The word “immediately” got my attention. What exactly did Jesus tell them that would change them so much and propel them to ‘immediately’ leave their fishing occupation to follow him?

In Mark 1:22. In vs 22, which I meditated on, it read “they were amazed at his teaching; for he was teaching them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.”

 Perhaps, he was probably teaching something different from what the scribes were teaching. He probably wasn’t cursing them out, or, manipulating the people by presenting a “work based” task in gaining acceptance with God. I’m sure it was love teaching which is the overwhelming love and grace of God in an already law based platform.

Tony Robbins concede that words have the power to start wars, create peace, destroy relationships or strengthen them, How we feel, he further stresses, about anything, is shaped by the meaning we attach to it. The words we consciously or unconsciously select describes immediately, or change what it means to you and how we feel.

In exploring the text, it brought to mind how we can forge great relationship with the master. I believe it is through willingness and immediate response. Robb Thompson eloquently expressed it better when he said; “excellent relationships are defined not by what I can get, but what I can give.” James and John gave their time and didn’t create excuses.

Jesus love for them, as expressed in the text was replete with so much truth and love to the extent that his love overcame their excuses.. At the end those same disciples gave their lives for him. The reason could be attributed to what they saw in him – truth , grace and empowering love.


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