It occurred to me as I read this first verse of Mark how valuable the word of the Lord is. The scripture says, “And he left there and went to the region of Judea and beyond the Jordan, and crowds gathered to him again; and again, as his custom was, he taught them.”
Mark seems to be making a point here when he says, “…and again…” and also “…as his custom was…” It was customary for Jesus to teach the people. Whenever the people came to him or a crowd came together, it was Jesus’ custom to AGAIN teach them about the kingdom of God.
This is a simply wonderful teaching. The Lord WANTS us to learn and know all things pertaining to the kingdom of God. He WANTS us to know what it is all about and how the gospel works. He WANTS us to understand the mysteries of the New Covenant so that we can live a better life and receive the promise of his kingdom. And it was HIS CUSTOM to offer his teachings to the people anywhere and everywhere they came to him.
What is even more wonderful is that his price for doing this work was…nothing! Zero, zip, nada, zilch or any other way you want to put it. He gave us this teaching that will lead us to life for free. There was no cost involved and no price to pay because even on that score, he paid the price for us when he died for our sins on Calvary. How great and wonderful is the love that God has for his people when we stop to consider what he has done for us!
In another place I have stated that you earn death but life is free. And this is true for the Bible shows us, “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23)
Just look at those words for a minute. You earn wages when you do some form of work or provide a service. In this case when you do the “work” of sin you earn the wages of sin…death. But life eternal is given to us as a free gift from God when we believe in his son, the Lord Jesus Christ. How good is that! Life is free but you earn death. I know which one I would prefer.
This is not the way the world today works. The principles of life in this world is, “What’s in it for me.” But in Christ it is, “What’s in it for you.” Jesus does not want our stuff. He does not want our money, possessions or anything else. He wants us. And not for his purposes but for ours, so that he can give us eternal life…for free. You cannot buy the truth of the New Covenant because it is not for sale. If you want the truth, ask the Lord as he has said, “Ask and it will be given.” (Matthew 7:7)
All of this has been given to us for free. In the world of business, marketers talk about a price vs. quality relationship. By that they say that people perceive that if something has a high price there is an expectation of high quality. Well that may hold true in the world of business and consumerism, but in Christ it is the opposite. He gives to us freely of those things that are the best of quality. What could be better than the offer of eternal life for free?
The Lord wants us to know him and his ways. That is why he taught the people at every opportunity and why he has provided us with the opportunity to read the Bible and learn through the guidance of the Holy Spirit today. Let us take full advantage of this wonderful gift while we are able.
(Picture sourced from Stock.xchng.com http://www.sxc.hu taken by Pedro Rezende)