Mark 1:16–20 Passing alongside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew the brother of Simon casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. 17 And Jesus said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you become fishers of men.” 18 And immediately they left their nets and followed him. 19 And going on a little farther, he saw James the son of Zebedee and John his brother, who were in their boat mending the nets. 20 And immediately he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired servants and followed him.
In Mark’s Gospel, this pivotal moment in the lives of Simon, Andrew, James, and John has been stripped down to its simplest terms: Jesus called; they followed.
Let me make it clear that as Christians we are ALL called to be Jesus’ disciples. In this three-part series, I’m going to attempt to show some practical lessons from Jesus’ call to discipleship.
JESUS’ CALL IS A DEMANDING CALL
To follow Jesus is not simply a ticket to heaven, it is a call to DISCIPLESHIP! It is a call to go ALL-IN, to put all our chips on the table and yield completely to Jesus’ authority. To follow Jesus is demanding because it requires that we drop everything and submit to His Lordship.
As Dietrich Bonhoeffer said, “when Christ calls a man, He bids him come and die”. The call to follow Jesus is a call to die: die to ourselves, die to our kingdom, die to our rulership over our lives.
Jesus calls us to surrender our whole hearts to Him. We are to give Him ALL our thoughts & motivations, our deepest desires, and our life purposes. Nothing in beyond the scope of His Lordship.
These four men left everything to follow Jesus. We often think of them as being lowly fishermen but the fishing business around the Sea of Galilee was a lucrative business. And they dropped their nets immediately to pursue Jesus!
You need to know that the terms of following Jesus haven’t changed. He is still calling us to forsake all & follow Him! Every disciple of the Lord Jesus has a calling to abandon our “nets” in favor of pursuing God’s purposes & God’s passions!
Luke 14:33 So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple.
Matthew 16:24–26 Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 25 For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. 26 For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?
I’ll leave you with another quote from Dietrich Bonhoeffer, “The call of Christ on our lives, if we are Christians, is demanding. It is the call to be a disciple. It is the call to follow“.