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Daily Bible Readings

The Call to Follow Jesus, From Jesus

Posted by Dan Sullivan on

Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.” Passing alongside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew the brother of Simon casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. And Jesus said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you become fishers of men.” And immediately they left their nets and followed him. And going on a little farther, he saw James the son of Zebedee and John his brother, who were in their boat mending the nets. And immediately he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired servants and followed him.

Mark 1:14–20 ESV Read More

Mark is always giving the fewest details about the events from Jesus’ life. Other gospel writers mention the great catch of fish they brought in and the confession of Peter (Simon) saying “Away from me Lord, I am a sinful man,” etc. But Mark, historically, was also one of the first gospels to be written. 

What if, like in this telling of the events, this was all it took? Jesus comes and proclaims that the Kingdom of God is happening. It is a current reality that is taking place. He says that everyone needs to repent and believe the good news, and then He asks you to follow Him. 

These guys probably heard what the Messiah would be like. They probably knew what rabbis looked like and that when one of them told you to follow him, it meant that he was taking you into his training. They also knew that since they were fisherman, they weren’t trained to be rabbis and never would be. So there is some cultural interpretation to be done here to understand how they did this. 

But let’s not use all of that to explain away this miracle. These guys, called by Jesus to follow, FOLLOWED. When Jesus asked them to come along with Him, they left behind their fishing nets even while they were fishing, and followed Jesus. It’s hard to believe someone leaving a fishing pole on a Sunday afternoon to follow, but these guys left their entire livelihood behind. 

As they went, Jesus’ teachings would back up this kind of discipleship. “Whoever would save his live would lose it” and “If you cannot take up your cross and follow Me, you are not worthy to be my disciple” are just a couple of things that point to this kind of follower of Jesus. These are the kind of men that Jesus needed to lead and use to build His church. The revolution of love and salvation would not be built on lukewarm mediocrity. 

Today, the call for discipleship is no less. Our culture is different, our livelihood is made more by paper and words than by catching fish, but Jesus calls us to follow Him. Some of us require a job change, others might be called to stay right where we are (Like Mary, Martha, & Lazarus, some of Jesus’ best friends and closest followers) but we are all called to follow Him. 

Following Jesus took care of everything they ever wanted to get out of fishing. Everything they needed was provided in a different way as they followed Jesus. It was only after Jesus died that they went back to fishing. 

It might not be a resignation, but there are things that Jesus is calling us to leave as part of our “repent and believe the good news” actions. He’s worth it and He loves to take care of us in it. 

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Tags: believer, discipleship, faith, follower, repent