But, he doesn’t allow those who “get it” to spill the beans.
Perhaps there is the need to let the full measure of the Good News to soak in, to permeate the community, so that when the time came they would recognize that the kingdom had truly come into their midst.
The offer is on the table, so come and join me if you will. In reflecting on the juxtaposition of the description of Jesus’ initial ministry and his calling of the two sets of brothers to be his disciples, I’m impressed that Jesus quickly recognizes that if the ministry is going to expand he is going to need partners in ministry.
We talk about “solo pastors,” by which we mean a congregation with one professional clergyperson on staff.
While I spent my youth as first an acolyte and then a lay reader in the Episcopal Church, I took a while before I caught hold of that vision. I went to seminary with the intention of being a college professor.
I was going to teach church history and preach on occasion, but not as a full-time pastor. My dreams of an academic career eventually gave way to a recognition of a call to preach the good news of God’s realm. First came John and he preached a message of repentance. He wasn’t the one who would inaugurate it, but he would pave the way. After his baptism and his temptation, he took up his calling as a preacher. Like John, Jesus called on the people to repent and believe. For preachers, there is always the danger of upsetting the people who pay the salary.
The traditional seminary education has been laid out on a three year plan.
The start of Jesus’ ministry is linked to the calling of the first group of disciples, all of whom according to Mark are in the fishing business.
He invites them to leave their nets and follow him, taking on a new calling – not casting nets in the lake but casting nets into the human world to gather those who are willing to participate in the in-breaking of God’s realm.
Why Jesus needs to do this may result from his recognition that it’s easy to misunderstand the message.
With the celebration of Martin Luther King’s birth and legacy fresh in our minds, it is worth reflecting on how his famed “I have a dream” speech has been used to sustain the status quo.