Note to readers: During Lent Resurrection joins over 140 other congregations in Kansas City and others in Hong Kong and Ghana in reading the entire gospel of Mark.
To watch a video that includes this week’s Monday-Wednesday Mark passages, click here.
14 After John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee announcing God’s good news, 15 saying, “Now is the time! Here comes God’s kingdom! Change your hearts and lives, and trust this good news!”
16 As Jesus passed alongside the Galilee Sea, he saw two brothers, Simon and Andrew, throwing fishing nets into the sea, for they were fishermen. 17 “Come, follow me,” he said, “and I’ll show you how to fish for people.” 18 Right away, they left their nets and followed him. 19 After going a little farther, he saw James and John, Zebedee’s sons, in their boat repairing the fishing nets. 20 At that very moment he called them. They followed him, leaving their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired workers.
“After John was arrested”—stay tuned. We’ll read more about that ominous, tragic note in Mark 6. But for now Mark moved right on and had Jesus stride to center stage. He summarized Jesus' message in three crisp sentences. Then Jesus called two sets of brothers to follow him. Mark typically gave the story an urgent feeling with phrases like “right away” or “at that very moment.”
Lord Jesus, your invitation must have been so compelling for these busy fishermen to drop everything to follow you! Make me ever more ready to respond to you “right away,” as they did. Amen.
I’ve always been intrigued by the ease with which Simon, Andrew, James and John dropped their nets to follow Jesus. Seemingly with no second thoughts they laid down their means to provide a livelihood and walked away from their families to follow him.
And it’s not like he gave them a lot of instructions or even a hint about where they were going. He only said, “Come, follow me. I will send you out to fish for people instead.”
Jesus called them to let go of everything they know and to trust him. It didn’t take a lot of convincing. Mark’s Gospel says they did so “at once” and “without delay.” His presence was enough, and their faith would lead them to something new he was creating, even if they did not understand it at the time.
And that is precisely what discipleship involves—faith to step into the unknown, trusting Christ to lead us to the right destination.
There is a time for every believer to transition from simply believing in Jesus, to start following Him. We must move from just sitting back and listening to his teachings and into applying his teachings to our lives and the world around us. Maybe that looks like taking that next step from listening to sermons about what Jesus says about taking care of the poor and caring for the widow to actually serving the poor and caring for the widow. And in order to do so you might need to make some room in your life; you might need to drop your net.
We often see this put into practice during the Lenten season. Many believers will give up distractions or bad habits and lean on God when that urge bubbles up. An example for me would be to stop picking up my phone to doom scroll * for the 10th time today and pick up my Bible instead. Or if I feel the urge to control a situation, I need to stop, take in a deep breath, and remember that it’s not my will that controls much of anything. It’s God’s and I should rely on God’s timing and plan instead of my own.
Listen to Jesus to see if there a place in your life where you are being nudged to give up something to follow him more closely. What nets are you willing to drop? Are you willing to trust him for the journey?
* For a definition of doom scrolling, click here.
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