Sunday 22 January 2012

Bible Book:

"Follow me and I will make you ..." (v. 17)

Mark 1:14-20 Sunday 22 January 2012


Mark's Gospel gives us an extremely short account of the call ofthe first disciples. Among the four Gospel writers Mark is knownfor his brief, terse, almost hurried narrative. He writes as ifthere is special urgency to his story, a need to tell that will notwait. Like a dying man trying to complete a story to those gatheredbefore his time runs out, or a woman who has raced up the hill withnews that must be communicated even if she has not yet got herbreath back, Mark cuts out the non essentials to get the tale told.Today's passage is a good example as it gives the answer to none ofthe questions we might want to ask, such as: did Jesus know thesefishermen before this day; what was the reaction of their familiesto this strange event; and what happened to the business, the netsand the boat? Rather in just six short sentences he conveys thelife-changing drama that took these fishermen and changed themforever.

This approach enables us to see some things about the kingdom anddiscipleship very clearly. And the call of the fishermen gives usclues to both: 

  • The call to discipleship is in the context of the kingdom.Verse 14 sets the context. The disciples (and we) are to followJesus as God's kingdom is already breaking into the life of theworld. God is at work and we are joining in.
  • The call to follow Jesus is at the same time a call to change."I will make you..." is an invitation and a promise to thedisciples (and to us) of transformation. We will be changed as wefollow.
  • There is a cost to discipleship: "And immediately they lefttheir nets and followed him" (v. 18). Mark wants his readers tounderstand the all encompassing nature of responding to the call ofJesus. It is not an add-on, nor an optional, spare time activity.It is costly and demanding, and requires a full and totalresponse.


To Ponder

Where have you seen the signs of God's kingdomrecently?

In what ways is God asking you to change at thismoment?

Reflect on Christians you admire: what has beenthe cost to them of following Jesus?

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