4 Fishermen and the Command to Observe Jesus (Mark 1:16-20)

When studying the primary chapter of Mark, one is captivated by this fast-moving account of Jesus’ early ministry. In rapid-fire succession we see Jesus touring from Nazareth to the Jordan River, the place John the Baptizer baptizes him. Then the Spirit sends him into the wilderness for 40 days to quick and be tempted by the satan.This brings us to Mark 1:14 – “After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God.” So John’s imprisonment marks a turning level for Jesus. The disappearance of the Messiah’s forerunner prompts Jesus to take heart stage, and he goes to Galilee and establishes Capernaum as his base of operations whereas touring from city to city within the northern a part of Israel.It’s on this context that Mark 1:16-20 presents Jesus’ encounter with two units of brothers – Peter and Andrew, and James and John. Capernaum is positioned on the northwest shore of the Sea of Galilee, and someday Jesus is strolling alongside this freshwater lake that served because the industrial heart of the area. He sees these 4 males, onerous at work, and easily says to them, “Come, follow me and I will make you fishers of men” (Mark 1:17).How do these full-time fishermen reply? “At once they left their nets and followed him” (Mark 1:17).I’ve at all times been a bit baffled by this story. It appears as if Jesus walks as much as these males out of the blue and says, “Men, it’s time for a career change. From now on, you will no longer fish for a living. You are now enrolled in my full-time discipleship program. Get out of those boats, quit your jobs, pack your bags and come with me!”They usually did precisely what he instructed them to do! Peter and Andrew left their nets “at once” and adopted Jesus (Mark 1:18). James and John did the identical factor – “they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men and followed him” (Mark 1:20).All of it appears so abrupt, would not it? Did these 4 males know what they had been getting themselves into? Did they’ve any earlier contact with Jesus?Fortuitously, we will flip to the gospel of John to reply these questions. Mark’s gospel doesn’t inform us that at the very least three of those 4 males have had earlier contact with Jesus. However Mark selected to not inform us about some occasions that happen between Mark 1:11 (Jesus’ baptism) and Mark 1:12 (Jesus’ wilderness quick) that John information and shed a lot mild on Mark 1:16-20.So it could be good for us to learn John 1:19-50, the place we learn an in depth account of 4 days within the ministry of John the Baptizer. Right here we see John interacting with the non secular leaders about his id. He denies being the Messiah and tells them that the Messiah is on his method (v. 19-28). Then Jesus involves the Jordan River to be baptized and we see John interacting with Jesus and telling everybody that Jesus is “the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world… I have seen and testify that this is the Son of God” (v. 29, 34).Right here we see that John has his personal disciples – males that he has taken below his wing for the aim of pointing them to Jesus. It seems that Peter and Andrew had been amongst these disciples of John the Baptizer. When Jesus involves the Jordan, John the Baptizer first introduces Andrew to Jesus. Instantly, Andrew goes to Peter and tells him, “We have found the Messiah” (v. 35-41). Then Andrew introduces Peter to Jesus, and Jesus provides Peter a brand new title (v. 42), telling him that “You are Simon… You will be called Cephas”. (“Cephas” is Aramaic for “Peter”.)Additionally, there may be one other disciple of John the Baptizer who was launched to Jesus together with Andrew. As a result of this different disciple isn’t named, it’s probably that it was John, the brother of James. This John (to not be confused with John the Baptizer), together with Andrew are subsequently the 2 disciples who’re launched to Jesus by John the Baptizer, and who then spend a whole day with Jesus (v. 39).Now, with all that in thoughts, quick ahead to Mark 1:16-20. We now know that Jesus has already met Peter, Andrew and John. It is usually probably that a number of months have transpired since their first assembly on the Jordan River. After his baptism and 40-day quick, Jesus travels again to Galilee and settles in Capernaum, the place he encounters the fishermen once more and instructions them to grow to be his full-time disciples.Understanding that Peter, Andrew and John had been disciples of John the Baptizer and had met Jesus by the Jordan River – would not that assist to raised perceive what is occurring when Jesus tells them to “Come, follow me” by the Sea of Galilee? I believe it does.After we learn Mark 1:16-20, it may well come throughout as if that is the primary time these males have met Jesus. Nevertheless it is not. They’ve frolicked with Jesus earlier than and have heard him preach and seen him carry out miracles. This man Jesus isn’t any stranger to them.On the similar time, there’s something important about the way in which Jesus calls these males to observe him. Jesus is the Christ (the Messiah, the King) – Mark has instructed us that in no unsure phrases in Mark 1:1. And he demonstrates the authority of a king when he tells these males to go away their nets behind and begin a brand new life.Jesus continues to name individuals to himself with authority. He does it day-after-day by his Phrase, the gospel, which isn’t a lot an “invitation” as it’s a “command” — the command to repent of your sin (expertise a radical change of coronary heart towards Jesus, then flip round and go in the wrong way) and observe Jesus. The gospel is the Good Information that the King has come and he’s constructing his kingdom by saving sinners and reworking them from the within out to have radically completely different attitudes and behaviors that align along with his functions and wishes.Just like the fisherman, maybe you’ve got encountered Jesus earlier than however usually are not following him now. It is not uncommon in America for individuals to have had some publicity to Christianity as a baby, usually by attending church and Sunday faculty with their mother and father, however then to lose curiosity and drift method from the religion as maturity approaches.And so I write this text to encourage you to look at afresh the claims of Jesus. He’s standing on the door of your coronary heart with a easy command – the identical command he gave the fishermen – “Come, follow me”. Will you obey this command, or will you proceed to disregard him? That is a very powerful query you’ll ever learn: How will you reply to the command of Jesus to observe him?