If Jesus were the hiring manager at your company, he would most likely be fired pretty quickly. From the earliest pages of the gospels where he simply says to the disciples, “Come follow me,” to these verses in Mark where he gives more detailed instruction, we see he’s not too specific. He doesn’t make the job of discipleship sound reasonable either. In today’s passage, Jesus’ message is to stay on high alert and expect to be persecuted. He tells his followers that they will be brought before all kinds of authorities and are always expected to proclaim the gospel.
After hearing this job description, how many would respond, “Where do I sign up?” Yet something about Jesus’ vision for this work is so compelling that his message and his messengers have endured for over 2,000 years.
While most of us will not face the same kind of persecution that the earliest disciples did for proclaiming the gospel, we’re called to offer a message that is still counter-cultural. This gospel still stands on the side of the poor, still persists in the face of injustice, and still remains at the bedside of the broken. The good news still disrupts systems and confronts abusive authority. The world still thirsts for this kind of redemption.
As we hear about the challenges of proclaiming the good news, we also glimpse what a world that fully lives into God’s Kingdom looks like. In that world we find hope, wholeness, and joy. When we finally envision that, perhaps the only question we have left is, “Where do I sign up?”
In what ways could I proclaim Christ’s good news so that hope, wholeness, and joy might thrive in our world?
God, the work you call us to take up seems difficult. Help us find abundant joy in pursuing your Kingdom and seeing it realized. Amen.