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
-Jesus Starts his ministry in Galilee (Jerusalem was the center)
-Galilee was about 68 – 85 miles north from Jerusalem
-Galilee was culturally despised by Judean’s (Jewish Ritual)
-Under separate administration than Judea
(Galilee had been under separate administration from Judea during almost all its history since the tenth century B.C. (apart from a period of “reunification” under the Maccabees), and in the time of Jesus it was under a (supposedly) native Herodian prince, while Judea and Samaria had since A.D. 6 been under the direct rule of a Roman prefect.)
-Thriving Agriculture and Fishing
(Galilee offered better agricultural and fishing resources than the more mountainous territory of Judea, making the wealth of some Galileans the envy of their southern neighbors.)
The start of Jesus ministry is a perfect parallel to our call to the life of faith. The calling of the disciples is the template for the believer in Christ.
1 & 2: Repent // Believe
As Jesus starts His ministry, the first message of Jesus that Mark chronicles is Jesus declaring that the time is fufilled, the Kingdom of God is at hand and that people should repent and believe the good news. These are the FIRST WORDS of Jesus recorded in Mark.
-Not only first words, but first imperative command.
For us to be Christians, we must repent of our sin and believe in the Good news of Jesus
Metanoia = Repent: Change your mind and inner man // To turn away from sin (stop seeking after sin)
-Not feel sorry for
Repentance is the act of FORSAKING your sin. If we continue to actively seek after sin, we have not repented.
Our hearts are born in sin and we are naturally depraved and lovers of sin.
-The first miracle of the Gospel is our hearts being changed to love the light
-This happens simultaneously as we believe in the Gospel
Without repentance, there is no Gospel and no following Jesus. For us to follow Jesus we must stop following Sin.
Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’- Matthew 7:21-23
3 & 4: Abandon All // Follow Jesus
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 1:16-20
Jesus calls the first 2 disciples. . . . .Simon(Peter) and Andrew.
-They are brothers
-They immediately left their nets
-Simon and Andrew had both met Jesus previously while John was baptizing in the Jordan river.
The next day again John was standing with two of his disciples, and he looked at Jesus as he walked by and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God!” The two disciples heard him say this, and they followed Jesus. Jesus turned and saw them following and said to them, “What are you seeking?” And they said to him, “Rabbi” (which means Teacher), “where are you staying?” He said to them, “Come and you will see.” So they came and saw where he was staying, and they stayed with him that day, for it was about the tenth hour. One of the two who heard John speak and followed Jesus was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. He first found his own brother Simon and said to him, “We have found the Messiah” (which means Christ). He brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, “You are Simon the son of John. You shall be called Cephas” (which means Peter).- John 1:35-42
Jesus called the next 2 disciples (also brothers). . . . . .James and John
-James is the not the writer of the book of James.
-John is also referenced in other places in the Bible as the one Jesus loved.
-They were not poor fisherman like many people think (They had servants)
-Departing from their father and following Jesus was a sign of their commitment to following Christ.
This story of Jesus calling these first disciples illustrates the nature of Christ calling us to follow Him.
-The call to discipleship is the call to abandoning all and pledging allegiance to Christ and Christ alone
-In order to follow Christ we must be willing to leave everything to follow Him
-Business, Career, Family, Friends, Old Life
-There is a cost to following Christ. . . but it is not a cost that is more valuable than what you would gain. That is why the disciples so willingly followed Jesus
-There is no MIDDLE GROUND in following Jesus, you can’t be half in and half out. You either deny yourself and follow Christ or you don’t. There is no other option
He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose- JIm Elliot
We cannot truly love God if we think that what we have to lose in our lives in more valuable than Christ. That is idolatry.
And as he was setting out on his journey, a man ran up and knelt before him and asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone. You know the commandments: ‘Do not murder, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and mother.’” And he said to him, “Teacher, all these I have kept from my youth.” And Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” Disheartened by the saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.