The Lord’s Table: Bible Study/Prayer meeting
(Every Wednesday 6-7 pm in the Chapel)
St Paul’s Church
The Anglican Church of Canada
Theme: The Good News
Topic: Following Christ
Reading: Mark 1:14-20
Now after John was arrested, Jesus came to Galilee, proclaiming the good news* of God,*15and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near;* repent, and believe in the good news.’* 16 As Jesus passed along the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake—for they were fishermen.17And Jesus said to them, ‘Follow me and I will make you fish for people.’18And immediately they left their nets and followed him.19As he went a little farther, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John, who were in their boat mending the nets.20Immediately he called them; and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men, and followed him.
In the today’s text, Jesus called Simon, Andrew, James and John to follow Him. What does it mean to be called by Christ and to follow Him? There are several accounts of how God called different people for specific tasks e.g. Moses, Joshua, Mary, Jonah to name but a few. The call to follow Christ is made to all mankind; while some accept the call and become believers, others choose not to. Christians are those who have accepted the call to follow Christ. The good news is that the call to follow Christ is still on and open for anyone who is yet to answer. It is when we answer the call of God through accepting Christ into our lives that we become followers of Christ. In this study, we will be discussing what it means to follow Christ including the responsibilities and benefits.
1. What is your understanding of following Jesus Christ?
Mark 1:18, 20
18And immediately they left their nets and followed him.
20Immediately he called them; and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men, and followed him.
2. How are we called today to follow Christ?
As Jesus passed along the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake—for they were fishermen.17And Jesus said to them, ‘Follow me and I will make you fish for people.’
3. What are the challenges and rewards for following Christ?
Then Peter said in reply, ‘Look, we have left everything and followed you. What then will we have?’28Jesus said to them, ‘Truly I tell you, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man is seated on the throne of his glory, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.29And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields, for my name’s sake, will receive a hundredfold,* and will inherit eternal life.
2 Corinthians 11:23-28
Are they ministers of Christ? I am talking like a madman—I am a better one: with far greater labours, far more imprisonments, with countless floggings, and often near death.24Five times I have received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one.25Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I received a stoning. Three times I was shipwrecked; for a night and a day I was adrift at sea;26on frequent journeys, in danger from rivers, danger from bandits, danger from my own people, danger from Gentiles, danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brothers and sisters;*27in toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, hungry and thirsty, often without food, cold and naked.28And, besides other things, I am under daily pressure because of my anxiety for all the churches.
And without faith it is impossible to please God, for whoever would approach him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.
4. How do we follow Christ?
Ephesians 4:1-2, 7, 11-15
I therefore, the prisoner in the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called, 2with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, 7 But each of us was given grace according to the measure of Christ’s gift.11The gifts he gave were that some would be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers,12to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ,13until all of us come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to maturity, to the measure of the full stature of Christ.14We must no longer be children, tossed to and fro and blown about by every wind of doctrine, by people’s trickery, by their craftiness in deceitful scheming.15But speaking the truth in love, we must grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ,
Ephesians 4: 17-24, 5:1-2
Now this I affirm and insist on in the Lord: you must no longer live as the Gentiles live, in the futility of their minds.18They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of their ignorance and hardness of heart.19They have lost all sensitivity and have abandoned themselves to licentiousness, greedy to practise every kind of impurity.20That is not the way you learned Christ!21For surely you have heard about him and were taught in him, as truth is in Jesus.22You were taught to put away your former way of life, your old self, corrupt and deluded by its lusts,23and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds,24and to clothe yourselves with the new self, created according to the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness. 51Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children,2and live in love, as Christ loved us* and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
Our calling is to follow Christ and Him alone. Let us trust God who called us as He promised to lead us into eternal glory. Let us walk knowing that He is able to deliver all who trust in Him.
Thank you Lord for calling us to love and serve You. Grant us the grace to follow You wherever you lead, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.