12 min 1 week

Lesson 2.A Day in the Ministry of Jesus
Calling, Teaching, Healing, and Prayer
In this lesson, we delve into a typical day in the ministry of Jesus as described in the Gospel of Mark (Mark 1:21–45). This passage gives us a fascinating insight into the life and activities of Jesus, His teachings, His healings, and His deep connection with God through prayer. Each section reveals important aspects of His character and mission and offers us valuable spiritual lessons that we can integrate into our own lives.
Objectives of the Lesson:
  • Understanding the Authority of Jesus: We will examine how Jesus taught and healed, demonstrating an authority that astonished and impressed the people of His time.
  • Recognizing the Importance of Prayer: We will explore the central role of prayer in the life and ministry of Jesus and learn how we can incorporate this practice into our own lives.
  • Compassion and Service: We will see how Jesus dealt with people on the margins of society and consider how we can show compassion and practical service in our daily lives.
  • Wisdom and Discretion: We will look at the wisdom Jesus showed in handling information and people around Him and learn how we can apply this wisdom in our own lives.
Outline of the Lesson:
  1. Jesus’ Authority and Teaching (Mark 1:21–28): We begin by examining the authority of Jesus in His teachings and actions, particularly the exorcism of a demon in the synagogue of Capernaum.
  2. Healing and Service (Mark 1:29–34): Next, we will look at the healing of Peter’s mother-in-law and the continued healings and exorcisms that Jesus performed later that evening.
  3. Prayer as a Source of Strength (Mark 1:35–39): We will study the significance of prayer in Jesus’ life and see how He spent time with God early in the morning before continuing His ministry.
  4. Healing a Leper (Mark 1:40–45): Finally, we will consider the healing of a leper and the lessons we can draw from this about compassion, faith, and the wisdom of discretion.
This lesson invites us to dive deeper into the daily life and ministry of Jesus and discover valuable principles that can enrich our own faith and daily lives. Let us begin with open hearts and minds, ready to learn from Jesus’ example and be inspired to follow His ways in our own lives.

2.1 “Follow Me”
The Call to Discipleship: The First Disciples and Their Immediate Response
Read Mark 1:16–20. Who were the men that Jesus called as disciples, and how did they respond?
In Mark 1:16–20, we learn about the calling of Jesus’ first disciples. Jesus encounters Simon, who would later be called Peter, and his brother Andrew by the Sea of Galilee as they are casting their nets. Similarly, he meets James and John, who are with their father and hired men in the boat, mending their nets.
The calling of these men is of special significance. Peter and Andrew appear to be simple fishermen, while James and John seem to come from a wealthier family, as they own a boat and have hired men. This could indicate that Jesus calls people from various social backgrounds, underscoring the universality of his call.
Jesus’ call is both simple and profound: “Follow me!” This command requires an immediate and radical decision, leaving behind their previous lives. The response of the men is remarkable. Without hesitation, they leave everything and follow him. This willingness shows their dedication and the profound impact Jesus had on them.
Jesus promises that he will make them “fishers of men.” This is a prophetic announcement, suggesting that their future task will be to win people and lead them into the community of Jesus. This shift from their previous profession to a spiritual mission symbolizes the transformation Jesus will bring about in their lives.
Overall, this passage demonstrates the immediate power of Jesus’ call and the willingness of the first disciples to give up everything for him. It illustrates the diversity of those he calls and the promise of a new, meaningful task in his service.
Reflect on why these men immediately left everything to follow Jesus (Mark 1:16–20).
In Mark 1:16–20, we see the immediate and radical response of the first disciples to Jesus’ call: they leave everything and follow him. This immediate discipleship might initially surprise us, but the Gospel of John provides a deeper perspective.
In the Gospel of John (John 1:29–42), it becomes clear that Simon, Andrew, James, and John were already followers of John the Baptist. John the Baptist pointed to Jesus as “the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). Therefore, the brothers had already heard about the significance of Jesus and had spent some time with him near the Jordan. These encounters and the teachings of John the Baptist prepared them for the moment when Jesus called them.
Mark, however, does not emphasize this background. Instead, he focuses on the immediate and powerful reaction of the disciples to Jesus’ call. This portrayal highlights the power and authority of Jesus: a single call from him is enough to make people leave their previous lives and follow him.
Mark shows the transformative power of Jesus. His call is so penetrating and convincing that the disciples respond without hesitation. Their lives change radically, and they embark on a new path that will change the world. This immediate and decisive response highlights the profound impact Jesus has on people and underscores his divine authority and attraction.
By emphasizing these aspects, Mark underscores the dramatic narrative and the profound significance of Jesus’ calling. It becomes clear that Jesus’ call brings about an immediate and comprehensive change that not only transforms the lives of the disciples but also profoundly impacts human history.
Reflect on what you have given up to follow Jesus. (Think about what your answer means, especially if you can’t think of anything.)
Reflecting on the question of what one has given up to follow Jesus can trigger deep and personal introspection. The answers can vary and are often very individual. Here are some possible aspects and considerations to include in your personal reflection:
  1. Time and Habits:
    • Many people give up a portion of their free time to devote themselves to prayer, Bible study, and church service.
    • Habits that contradict Christian values, such as excessive partying, unethical behavior, or destructive relationships, are often abandoned in favor of a life aligned with Christian principles.
  2. Material Things:
    • Some choose to live a simpler lifestyle to be more generous to others, whether through donations or active involvement in social projects.
  3. Career Choices:
    • Some people choose careers or life paths that align with their faith convictions, even if it means sacrificing financial gain or social status.
  4. Relationships:
    • Following Jesus can mean reevaluating relationships and sometimes distancing oneself from people who have a negative influence on faith and lifestyle.
  5. Personal Ambitions and Dreams:
    • Sometimes following Jesus means giving up or redirecting personal ambitions or dreams to follow God’s will and plan for one’s life.
If you can’t think of anything:
  • This could indicate that you have not yet reflected on your life to the extent that you recognize the changes and sacrifices you have already made.
  • It can also be an invitation to think more deeply about your relationship with Jesus and consider if there are areas in your life where you could act more in line with Jesus’ teachings.
Significance of the Answer:
  • The answer to this question can help you recognize the degree of dedication and commitment in your faith life.
  • It can also inspire you to find new ways to align your life more closely with Jesus’ teachings and to become more intensely committed to following Jesus.
Reflecting on what you have given up to follow Jesus is a valuable exercise that can help deepen your faith and recognize how you can continue to grow in discipleship.

The Call to Discipleship and the Immediate Response of the First Disciples in Mark 1:16–20 Have Profound Implications for Our Daily Life and Faith.
Significance for Daily Life:
  1. Willingness to Change:
    • The disciples immediately left everything to follow Jesus. This willingness to embrace change and embark on new paths is also relevant in our daily lives. It encourages us to be open to God’s guidance, even if it means giving up the familiar and comfortable.
  2. Setting Priorities:
    • Jesus’ call represents a radical realignment of priorities. Instead of putting their profession and previous life first, the disciples now center their lives around following Jesus. This realignment can inspire us to reevaluate our own priorities and place our faith at the center of our lives.
  3. Trust and Dedication:
    • The immediate response of the disciples shows a deep trust in Jesus. We are also invited to live this trust in our daily lives by relying on God’s guidance and entrusting Him with our life’s path.
Significance for Faith:
  1. Universal Call:
    • The calling of fishermen and wealthier disciples shows that Jesus calls people from all social backgrounds. This underscores the universality of the Christian faith and encourages us to accept and include all people in the community.
  2. Transformation Through Discipleship:
    • Jesus promises to make the disciples “fishers of men.” This transformation from a worldly profession to a spiritual mission shows that discipleship can bring about profound change in our lives. Our faith has the potential to impact not only our own lives but also the lives of others.
  3. Decisive Discipleship:
    • The disciples’ determination to follow Jesus immediately challenges us to reflect on our own level of dedication. It invites us to examine the depth of our discipleship and consider whether we are ready to respond to God’s call with determination and without hesitation.
Reflection: What Have You Given Up to Follow Jesus?
  • Time and Habits: Have you realigned your free time to devote yourself to prayer, Bible study, or church service? Have you given up harmful habits?
  • Material Things: Have you given up material things or a certain lifestyle to live more generously and in line with Christian values?
  • Career Choices: Have you given up career paths or ambitions to stay true to your faith?
  • Relationships: Have you reevaluated relationships and possibly ended some to have a positive influence on your faith and lifestyle?
  • Personal Ambitions and Dreams: Have you realigned personal ambitions to follow God’s plan for your life?
Significance of Reflection:
  • Reflecting on these questions can help you recognize the depth of your dedication and identify areas where you can continue to grow. It can inspire you to live your faith more strongly in your daily life and to be more intensely committed to following Jesus.
By reflecting on the call of the disciples and applying it to our own lives, we can develop a deeper connection to our faith and a greater willingness to follow Jesus.

Be willing to reorder your priorities and embrace changes to follow Jesus’ call with all your heart.

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