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.
The passage says that Simon (later named Peter) and his brother Andrew, as well as James and his brother John, “immediately left their nets and followed him”. It’s hard to know exactly what “immediately” meant. I expect there were some goodbyes said, especially for these men who were no doubt critical to the family business. Young men, young backs. Very important for the physicality of an ancient fishing enterprise. I’m guessing the news they were leaving did not go well with the other family members – especially if they were married. We don’t know how old they were, so we can’t know if they had families of their own, but nevertheless it would have been a sacrifice for everyone involved.
And the narrative in Mark is one that moves quickly from one thing to the next. Words like “immediately” are common, as if Mark is in a hurry to reveal the gospel of salvation and new life in Christ. Whether the men left within the hour or after a few short days, the point is made. They did not delay, but they responded quickly to the call of Jesus.
Jesus doesn’t have to call us away from house and home to call us. We get called all the time by the Lord, in ways large and small. And the greater the potential impact of our calling, the greater the ask from the Lord. Sacrifice is typically part of the equation. This morning I’m wondering where and how the Lord might be calling me today. Will I respond in faith? Will I follow “immediately”? Will you? Lord Jesus let it be so, by your grace. Amen.