SERMON TITLE: “Jesus 101: Jesus & Vocation”
SERMON TEXT: Mark 3:13-19 and 6:6b-13
(Also: Mark 1:16-20 & 2:13-14 were used in Children’s Sermon)
PREACHER: Rev. Kim James
OCCASION: September 2, 2018, at First UMC
As you can see from the title printed in the bulletin, this installment of my “Jesus 101” sermon series is about “Jesus & Vocation.” We United Methodists don’t use the word “vocation” very much. In fact, when you first glanced at the title, some of you might have thought I was going to preach about Jesus going on “vacation.” This is Labor Day weekend, after all, and lots of folks are taking advantage of their last summertime opportunity to get away before the fall schedule takes hold. Why not Jesus too? If you’ve been here for the previous three sermons in this series, you’ve figured out that, in the early chapters of Mark, Jesus was a very busy guy and probably was already in need of a vacation. Almost as soon as he began preaching the good-news gospel, he also got to work healing all kinds of people who crowded around him with their many needs. Jesus devoted himself to this labor because he felt a tremendous sense of call from God. Mark chapter one tells us about Jesus’ baptism, when he saw the Spirit of God descending on him like a dove and he heard God’s voice saying, “You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.” Soon after, when John the Baptist was arrested and his message was silenced, Jesus realized he had to pick up the slack. God had called him to that work.
And that’s what the word “vocation” means. You can think of it like “voice” or “vocalization.” As the Gospel of Mark so clearly indicates, Jesus heard God’s divine voice calling him into the ministry of preaching good news, calling him into the ministry of healing the sick, and calling him to interpret the law with compassion. And now, in this fourth sermon of the series, we see that Jesus used his own voice to call disciples to labor alongside him in God’s work.