Scripture: Mark 1:16 As Jesus passed along the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the sea—for they were fishermen. 17 And Jesus said to them, “Follow me and I will make you fish for people.” 18 And immediately they left their nets and followed him. 19 As he went a little farther, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John, who were in their boat mending the nets. 20 Immediately he called them; and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men, and followed him.
Observation: Here Jesus calls his first disciples: Simon (later known as Peter), his brother Andrew, James and John. Mark’s gospel is believed to have been written around 66-70 A.D., perhaps during the Roman emperor Nero’s persecution of Christians. As such, I expect the first readers of Mark’s gospel would have closely identified with these first of Jesus’ disciples to be called. They too would likely have left everything, at great personal risk, to join the early church.
Application: I can recall the years when I was being drawn to the church. I had graduated from college with a marketing degree and was in the first years of a career in business with a large insurance/banking/real estate firm. At the company there was an executive level track that included graduate business school, so I was studying for my M.B.A. while working full-time. It was a lot of work, but I was excited about the future.
And then Jesus came calling.
Leaving the business world for a vocation in ministry is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made, but it didn’t seem like it at the time. I remember getting quite a bit of blowback from friends and family who told me I was nuts to leave the track I was on. They imagined me standing on a street corner with a sign “will preach for food”. Frankly, the thought had crossed my mind as well. Why leave a good thing for the unknown? And there was my family to think of, as Jana and I had just had our first child. What about them? Don’t be an idiot!
But Jesus was calling.
Jesus will do that, you know. In fact, Jesus is calling many of you right now – not necessarily to leave your career for full-time ministry, but he’s calling you out of your comfort zone nonetheless. He’s asking you to follow him, to trust him, to give your life to him for the sake of God’s Kingdom. Will you follow?
Prayer: Lord Jesus, your call is both wonderful and frightening. Give us grace to overcome our fear… and say “yes”. Amen.