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Mark 1:16–20

As Jesus walked beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” At once they left their nets and followed him. When he had gone a little farther, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John in a boat, preparing their nets. Without delay he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men and followed him.

This dramatic call of some of the most notable disciples shows that the ministry of Christ is chiefly concerned about drawing people unto himself. The incarnate Lord is a central theme of Christianity. The text highlights that following Jesus is an immediate and dramatic life-changing experience. The disciples are called to leave their former lives behind in what readers of Scripture know will require great cost but will result in eternal transformations.

Simon Peter, for example, shows great boldness for Christ in the book of Acts, though he once denied the Lord and cowered in fear for his life. Again, the call of Christ results in dramatic transformation. For the disciples, following Jesus required a physical following that tested their resolve and spirit, but the deeper following of the heart and mind that was required for them would be revealed by and in Christ.

Christ called seemingly ordinary people to be his disciples. They were not wellconnected influencers, nor did they hold important government positions. This fact reinforces the humility and importance of ordinary leaders in God’s church and the world. The repercussions of the gospel eventually play a critical role in uplifting humanity to accomplish great things for the kingdom of God, as well as for human freedom.

All followers of Christ are called to bring people to him. This is an important element of the story. Sadly, this is somehow even missed by many ministers today who often concern themselves with more trivial matters of the world before the Great Commission.

The disciples here were called out of the world they were most familiar with to a very public ministry. This is important for us to hear today, especially as our own Western world becomes more secularized and hostile to the teachings of Christ. Many Churches today are insular and focus only on current members or a worship and witness invisible to outsiders. Christ, though, is calling the disciples to a bold and public ministry that proclaims the coming good news and kingdom of God. It’s a powerful reminder to place nothing above Christ and the work he calls us to do.

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