I was struck this morning with the words,”the beginning of the gospel.” As if to say, “This is just the beginning.” Though the work of Christ in saving sinners is finished and complete, sinners are still hearing the gospel, repenting of sin and believing on Jesus Christ. The gospel moves forward. Though we rely on the historical realities of Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection… The good news is still heard today and believed for the first time. Jesus still delivers people from sin and shame to hope and freedom! The good news is still good news long after this gospel was written. Though it appears ancient, it is still fresh! This is just the beginning of how God made the way for men to come to Him. He is still delivering people from their sin today! Have you ever considered the gospel and trusted Christ to remove all your guilt and shame? Is the gospel still good news to you? Have you been actively taking up your part in the gospel and been sharing it with others? (Colossians 1:24).
I also saw the word “immediately” was used several times to describe the actions that were taking place. It was a time to move with great sobriety and urgency. Jesus had come to save all those who would ultimately trust him. When he called his disciples would leave everything with urgency and sobriety. What is God calling you to do that requires you to act today with great urgency and sobriety? Are you being immediately obedient to him?
If you hang out long enough at my house you will hear the phrase, “delayed obedience is disobedience.” when leading my children it’s important for them to act swiftly on my commands, not because I am a cruel dictator, but because I love my kids and I really only offer the commands for their safety and ultimate joy. I know a penny in the power outlet can earn a child a trip to the emergency room. So when I say, “put the penny down.” I’m not trying to steal my Kids joy, I’m actually acting to preserve her safety. A delay on her part can lead her to great pain and harm. She may rationalize that it’s just a penny and she really wants to put it in the wall. She may even be committed to putting the penny down after she trys this one thing.
Delayed obedience is really at it’s core disobedience. It’s saying, “I know better than you how things will work out for me.” It is a subtle attack on the character of God when we delay with our obedience to his call or command. We doubt His goodness, we doubt His ability to see what we can’t see, we doubt his love. Delayed obedience can be costly
Last, at the end of the chapter Jesus heals a man and urges him not to tell others, but rather go fulfill the customs and obligations of the day. The man ends up telling people and Jesus becomes famous. Jesus wasn’t looking for fame, Jesus was looking to honor the father. I’m sure to this one so miraculously healed it seemed contrary not to tell the whole town, he went with his gut instead. Sometimes if we aren’t careful we will follow our gut rather than obeying the Lord. How about you? Are you trusting the Lord? Are you trusting what God says about relationships? Money? Work? Etc…