Mark: According to
16 And as He walked by the Sea of Galilee, He saw Simon and Andrew his brother casting a net into the sea for they were fisherman. 17 Then Jesus said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you become fishers of men.” 18 They immediately lift their nets and followed Him. 19 When He had gone a little farther from there, He saw James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, who also were in the boat mending their nets. 20 and Immediately He called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boast with the hired servants, and went after Him.
Galilee, the lake instead of a sea is a much more accurate description of this thirteen by eight-mile body of water yet throughout scripture it is traditionally referred to as the “Sea of Galilee.” Throughout the three synoptic gospels, Matthew, Mark and Luke the sea of Galilee plays a vital role.
Mark through the first 15 verses gives us little insight into Jesus early ministry. It states he was baptized and tempted, but little else is mentioned. For us reading Mark it seems a little strange that four men, who made their living fishing would suddenly drop their nets leaving a thriving business behind. We know the business was thriving by the fact that the Father of James and John had servants. Why would Peter, Andrew, James and John leave all this to follow this man named Jesus. Yet, if we read the Gospel of John, we see that Christ was already building quite the reputation, for His healing and His teachings.
I am sure the four men saw in Jesus a face that was full of compassion which was blended with power, yet every feature of his countenance was marked with humility and unutterable love. He was surrounded by an atmosphere of spiritual influence. While His manners were gentle and unassuming, He impressed men with a sense of power that was hidden, yet could not be wholly concealed. Jesus came in poverty and humiliation, that He might be our example as well as our Redeemer. If He had appeared with kingly pomp, how could He have taught humility? How could He have presented such cutting truths as in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew chapters 5 – 7)? Where would have been the hope of the lowly in life had Jesus come to dwell as a king among men?
This is what these four fishermen must have seen in Christ that would cause them to leave all behind to Him. Sure, Christ’s mission was misunderstood even by these four that left everything to follow Christ. But we have a more sure understanding of Jesus mission for we have four Gospels, the book of Revelation and the letters of Paul to help explain who Jesus is and his great love for us. Yet, sadly, with this more complete picture than these four new disciples had, we fail to see the beauty, the humility, the love, and the great sacrifice that Christ paid on our behalf. We fail to fully comprehend the loving kindness and humility of Christ and therefore when presented with the truth of the gospel, we like so many in Christ’s day follow for a while and then drop away.
Friends, Christ called these disciples, they were willing to give up everything to follow him. If they were willing to give up all for him, how much more should we who have a much fuller understanding of Christ’s love and message be willing to give up all and follow Him.
Do not wait, do not hesitate, for none of us know how long the invitation will be given for us to follow Christ. My friend, do you hear him calling you? If so, surrender your heart and begin follow Jesus.