By Krista Vaughn
Mark 1:16-2016 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.”[f] 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.
A few things to consider in studying the bible consists of understanding the context of the scripture, the culture at the time, and the chronological order of information. In this case of Jesus calling His first disciples, the focus is on Simon (who is later called Peter or Cephas), Andrew (the brother of Simon), James and John (the sons of Zebedee). All of the four gospels mention this encounter varying from perspective, and I would like to bring attention to the mention of how “immediate” the encounter was.
There are two different perspectives of immediacy I would like to discuss.
First in looking at context, in both Matthew 4:18-22 and Mark 1:16-20, the disciples mentioned that Jesus’ followers left their career and current lifestyles to directly follow Jesus. Were they complete strangers to Jesus? Well, no. Let’s look at this chronologically.
In John 1:35-42, John brings in a timeline detail to the scenario. In this part of the gospel, we learn that Andrew was already a disciple of John the Baptist before his actual encounter with Jesus Christ. And as O’neill Trull mentioned in a previous previously, John the Baptist was the “one who prepared people to encounter Jesus.” As we continue in the Book of John, Andrew followed Jesus and then told his brother, Simon about Jesus. Thus, began their discipleship, although it was only part-time.
In this, we see the immediacy in believing in Jesus and wanting to follow Him.
Second, we further our study in chronology and context as we now dapple into the culture of the time with the Gospel of Luke 5:1-11. Luke brings to us the view of the disciples’ jobs at the time. They were fisherman. In this encounter, Jesus shows them a miracle, a representation of stability for their families, as well as an invitation to delve deeper into their discipleship and become a full-time disciple while literally following Jesus where He goes. They then take on the task of learning how to be fishers of men.
In this, we see the immediacy to delve deeper into their relationship.
Where does your immediacy stand?
Through this understanding, we now know that the disciples immediately followed Jesus knowing it was to increase their discipleship after the preparation John the Baptist made for them.
Where does your immediacy stand?
Is God asking you to follow Him or is God asking you to go deeper?
In either case, we are here for you!
If you want to see the in-depth version of this study, please check out what John W. Schoenheit discusses at https://thesowermagazine.com/the-calling-of-the-disciples/
I would not have understood it as much without his guidance.
By O'neill Trull
1 The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.2 As it is written in Isaiah the prophet, “Behold, I send my messenger before your face, who will prepare your way,3 the voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight,’”4 John appeared, baptizing in the wilderness and proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. 5 And all the country of Judea and all Jerusalem were going out to him and were being baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. 6 Now John was clothed with camel's hair and wore a leather belt around his waist and ate locusts and wild honey. 7 And he preached, saying, “After me comes he who is mightier than I, the strap of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie. 8 I have baptized you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”
John the Baptist has always been a fascinating character to me, seemingly a wild man, living outside society eating locusts and honey! Yet Jesus said of him in Matthew 11, “Truly, I say to you, among those born of women there has arisen no one greater than John the Baptist”. Pretty high praise for an individual. I want to focus on two aspects of his ministry, and then, why I believe Jesus called him great.
The first aspect we see, in verse 2, is a ministry of preparation. John’s calling was one of preparing people to encounter the Messiah. Much like a farmer will prepare the soil to receive the seed, John was called to prepare the hearts of those that Jesus Himself would preach to later. Everyday we have the opportunity to prepare our own hearts, and the hearts of those we encounter to receive what Jesus has for us. To receive hope, correction, peace, courage, honor, and freedom.
In verse 4 we read about his ministry of proclamation. A call for repentance and baptism, a shift in both thought and action. We can create a false dichotomy that the Gospel is about deeds, or about words. The life of John, and more importantly Jesus, would tell us it’s both. The Gospel, is about the whole person, about a new life, a new beginning, a new way of doing things. Our call like John is to both show and proclaim the goodness of Jesus.
"Our call like John is to both
show and proclaim the goodness of Jesus."
Finally, in verse, I believe we see the key to his greatness, that is his humility. He realized that he was merely a forerunner of the One to come, not the headliner, but rather the opening act. It is said that John was the final prophet under the Old Covenant, but I believe we can also say he was the prototype disciple: one who prepared people to encounter Jesus, proclaimed His Goodness, while walking in great humility. Our call is to do the same.
Mark 1:1–11 (ESV)
John the Baptist Prepares the Way
1 The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
2 As it is written in Isaiah the prophet, “Behold, I send my messenger before your face, who will prepare your way, 3 the voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight,’ ” 4 John appeared, baptizing in the wilderness and proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. 5 And all the country of Judea and all Jerusalem were going out to him and were being baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. 6 Now John was clothed with camel’s hair and wore a leather belt around his waist and ate locusts and wild honey. 7 And he preached, saying, “After me comes he who is mightier than I, the strap of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie. 8 I have baptized you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”
The Baptism of Jesus
9 In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10 And when he came up out of the water, immediately he saw the heavens being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. 11 And a voice came from heaven, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.”
"Before Jesus preached a message, produced a following, or performed a miracle, He was affirmed and approved by his father!”
Mark 1:14–15 (ESV)
Jesus Begins His Ministry
14 Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, 15 and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”
Jesus comes preaching
“Before he brought a work or a wonder, He brought a word.”
1. The time is fulfilled
Mark 1:14–15 "The time promised by God has come at last!”
2. The Kingdom of God is at hand
“The Kingdom is here because the KING IS HERE!”
Matthew 20:28 (NIV) The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
How do we respond to it? How do we receive it?
Matthew 4:17 (NLT) Jesus began to preach, “Repent of your sins and turn to God, for the Kingdom of Heaven is near.”
A Deep and a fundamental shift in thinking.
“Change your mind, change your life.”
Matthew 3:8 (NLT) Prove by the way you live that you have repented of your sins and turned to God.
Put faith in: Entrust.
John 3:15 (ESV) Whoever believes in him may have eternal life.
5. The Gospel.
“Jesus didn’t just preach the gospel He is the Gospel!”
Mark 1:35–42 (ESV)
35 And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed. 36 And Simon and those who were with him searched for him, 37 and they found him and said to him, “Everyone is looking for you.” 38 And he said to them, “Let us go on to the next towns, that I may preach there also, for that is why I came out.” 39 And he went throughout all Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and casting out demons.
40 And a leper came to him, imploring him, and kneeling said to him, “If you will, you can make me clean.” 41 Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand and touched him and said to him, “I will; be clean.” 42 And immediately the leprosy left him, and he was made clean.
- John The Baptist: Mt 3:1–11; Lk 3:2–16, Isa 40:3
- Jesus Baptism: Mt 3:13–17; Lk 3:21-22
- Temptation of Jesus: Mt 4:1–11; Lk 4:1–13
- Jesus Calls the Disciples: Mt 4:18–22; Lk 5:2–11; Jn 1:35–42
- Jesus drives out an unclean spirit: Lk 4:31–37
- Jesus heals a man with leprosy: Mt 8:2–4; Lk 5:12–14