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 GRACE-FILLED CALL
The first thing we notice about Jesus’ call to these four men is that He met them where they were. As Jesus was walking along the shore of the Sea of Galilee, He comes to them as they are going about their normal routine and He simply says, “Come follow Me”. He doesn’t require them to get their lives together and then follow Him. He simply invites them to “come as they are”.
As you read through the Gospels you quickly realize that these men were a hot mess. James and John were nicknamed the “Sons of Thunder” due to their short tempers. They didn’t understand Jesus’ teaching that “the first should be last” because they argued with one another about being the greatest in Jesus’ Kingdom. Peter was told by Jesus to “get behind me Satan” and would later deny Jesus three times. Clearly they didn’t have their act together before following Jesus!
But this is the remarkable thing about Jesus’ call… He calls people in need of grace to be instruments of grace. He calls broken people to be conduits of healing. And He calls people needing redemption to be tools of redemption. We see this played out in the lives of these four men. They are needy, they are messy, they are flawed…but Jesus calls them anyway!
The same is true for us. We are NOT called because of who we are, we are called because of who Jesus is. We’re NOT called because we are adequate, Jesus is. We are NOT called because we are sufficient, Jesus’ grace is sufficient!