Posted by Paul Edwards (Fr. Paul) on Jan 12, 2012 | Comments (0)

EPIPHANY III Mark 1:14-20 "Immediately"

Rational understanding is limited to the immediate evidence. Spiritual understanding is unlimited by wondering beyond the evidence.

Mark loves "immediately". What does it mean for us? Mark does not give us a rational definition for "immediately". It is a spiritual experience. Wham, Bam, there it is!

Why did the disciples respond immediately when Jesus called them? Rational understanding would say Peter, Andrew, John and James all knew Jesus. It was as if they had grown up together, played in the sand, and worked in the carpenter's shop.

Spiritual understanding would say, give me a break! They did not live that close to each other. They may have seen Him afar. But you cannot tell me they immediately left their nets to follow him because they were the "best of friends". Come off of it! There was something else going on there.

These men responded to a journey that would have them leave their families and lead them to their death. Peter did have a mother-in-law and that presumes family. They left the only occupation they knew. They were doing well and now moved into poverty and the good will of strangers. They left their father and his nets. There was no time to get a blessing from him or anyone else. It was immediately.

Wonder what was going on? It would be difficult to make this up. These men were Zealots. At that time, the Zealots were looking for the Kingdom of David to come. The Zealots hated their religious leaders. They felt they had betrayed God's people. They wanted to incite riots so Rome would come against the Lord's anointed. God would not let His people be destroyed. He had two thousand years of His time invested in them. God would send a Messiah who would lead the troops and defeat the hated Romans, restore the Kingdom of David to its rightful boundaries. There would be an eternal abundant life of peace and happiness as the special chosen of God.

If you study the apostles closely, you can spot several potential Zealots. There was Simon the Zealot. Probably Judas was one. Peter drew a hidden sword in the Garden of Gethsemane. John and James wanted to call down thunder to wipe out the Samaritans. This band of disciples were still Zealots, even after the resurrection. The first thing the Apostles asked Jesus, just before the ascension, was now that You have proved yourself to be the Messiah by the resurrection, will you restore the Kingdom of David? Jesus replied it is not for you to know the time, but you will receive power after the Holy Spirit is come upon you. Acts 1:7-8

Rational understanding could not believe Jesus would take the risk to choose Zealots for his disciples. Spiritual understanding knows when people are filled with the Pentecostal Power in Love, their lives change. They will want to share this Love with others.

I know this is true from my counseling with people. I met and counseled for the first time, a father and son who had not spoken to each other because of past anger and hurt.

We never dealt with their issues. They became aware of the Presence. Suddenly, they were talking gently with each other. I never saw them again. Several years later, I saw this stranger calling and coming to me. It was the father. He told me in amazement how their relationship was healed that very day we met.

After Pentecost, the Apostles were now willing to die for the Love of the Gospel; and they did. The witness of the Apostles is for us. It is never too late to have a change of heart through the Power of the Love of God that is in Christ Jesus, our Lord.

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