MARK 1:14-20 CALLING DISCIPLES
Bible Background: We’re just 14 verses into Mark’s gospel. (Can you say: “brief”?) We’ve met John; seen the baptism of Jesus-who was then tested in the wilderness; and now, the excitement begins! Mark uses the word “immediately” 27 times. This is a fast-paced story of how Jesus, the Son of God, meets the challenges facing the people of God in this world.
Digging Deeper: 1. The public ministry of Jesus begins on a foreboding note: “Now after John was arrested…” No mention of why John was arrested or by whom! We do remember that prophet-types say things that threaten the status quo. Apparently John has done that. Now, Jesus will too! And, the same thing that happened to John, will happen to Jesus.
2. “Galilee” is the base for Jesus’ ministry, and the region where most of his disciples are from. This is away from the holy city and the nation’s capital-Jerusalem. This is where ordinary people live their lives and their faith!
3. Simon, Andrew, James, and John are pretty ordinary people, going about their daily work, when Jesus finds them and summons them, and immediately they seem to drop everything and follow him! This does not mean they have never met Jesus before. Maybe they had. Maybe not! It doesn’t mean they are looking for a career-change! It does suggest they are open to doing something more with their lives!
4. Jesus proclaims “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news.” Note the urgency to this claim! The time is now! God is here! Turn your lives towards God! Believe! What are the ‘urgent’ claims on our lives? How do we put ‘first things first’ and not get distracted by so many other demands on our time and attention?
5. Put yourself in the shoes of one of the characters in this story: Jesus, Simon, Andrew, James, John, their father Zebedee, their hired men, or some eyewitness who happens to be at the lakeshore. What are you thinking? Feeling? Hearing? Wanting? Wondering? Hoping? Fearing? With the exception of Jesus, these are ordinary people hearing his call, and deciding how to respond.
6. What do you think of when you hear ‘fishers of people?’