The Call of Jesus Christ, Mark 1:16-20

Jesus is the power behind what happens to you when you become a Christian.

Peter at first meeting with Jesus said, “Away from me Lord, for I am a sinful man”.  Then he asked, “What’s in it for us? We’ve left everything to follow you?” Finally Peter said, “I will follow You anywhere, even unto death”.  Peter, along with the other 11 Apostles will have their lives memorialized forever in the Eternal City – it will have 12 foundations and each foundation will be blazoned with the name of an Apostle.  

 

This is not the call of salvation, but, the call of service to Jesus.  But, who could say with a clear conscience that being saved doesn’t have to lead to a life of service?  

 

Today’s passage focuses on the call of the first four disciples of Jesus.  They are two sets of brothers. Simon/Peter and Andrew, and, James and John son of Zebedee.  These four were fishermen by trade and in business together as Luke’s Gospel tells us.  

 

Simon, who is renamed Peter, the chief of the Disciples, is famous.  Loyal, impulsive, bold, rough, energetic and restless. His brother Andrew is always seen bringing people to Jesus.  He brought his brother Peter to Jesus, some Gentiles in John 12, and others.  

 

James and John are called the Sons of Thunder, probably for their fiery temperments.  One time John asked Jesus if he could call fire down from heaven on a town they just left because they town rejected Jesus.  John was a 

 

First, He Calls You Where He Finds You.  

Where were you when God called you?  Were you a young child in Sunday School?  Were you a teenager in Youth Group or your parents bedside?  Were you an adult in Church hearing the Gospel? Were you reading the Bible because you were searching?  Were you in a dark place and someone showed you the Grace of God? Where were you when God called you? He calls you where He finds you.

 

The scene here is Jesus coming upon these four young men and finding them about their lives.  They were hard at work at their jobs. They weren’t looking for Him. He came looking for them.  “You did not choose Me” He told them the night before He was crucified, “But I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit” (John 15:16).  Jesus would tell Nathaniel, “I saw you when you were still under the fig tree” (John 1). His eyes find us before ours find Him.

 

Where you are at is your starting point with God.  The OT prophet Amos said to king Amaziah, “I was neither a prophet nor a prophet’s son, but I was a shepherd, and I also took care of sycamore-fig trees.  But the Lord took me from tending the flock and said to me ‘Go, prophecy to my people.’”  

 

He calls rich and poor, Jew and Gentile, black and white, upper and lower class, brilliant and average, successful and normal, good and bad.  

 

Second, He calls you to follow Him

“Come follow Me” Jesus said in verse 17.  Come, follow Me. In other words, once Jesus finds you where you are at He calls you away from it to follow Him.  “I am the Way” He said in John 14:6. Jesus’ calling is one of commitment to Him on the path He is going.

 

This is about following Him, so that who He is, and what He wants is shining more in your life.  His life shines in this world one person at a time. Each person committed to the light of Jesus, not their own light.  

 

Third, He calls you to find others

“I will make you fishers of men”.  Two things: first, Jesus is going to make you into something that you are not and cannot be without Him.  Second, what Jesus does in you is meant to be to the benefit of others.  

 

First, “I will make you”.  Take those words in. Jesus, the one who created the world and everything in it is going to create you into something new.  “Behold, anyone who is in Christ is a new creation, the old is gone and the new has come.” (2 Cor. 5:17). He will turn your water into wine (Jn 2:1-11).

 

The point here is that Jesus is the power behind what happens to you when you become a Christian.  Moreover, nothing is done for Jesus that is not powered by Him, “Apart from Me you can do nothing”, and “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible” He said.  Our memory verse later on in Colossians 1:29, “To this end I labor, struggling with all His energy which so powerfully works in me.”  

 

Fourth, He calls you to forsake

Finally He calls you to Forsake.  Those 4 young men had to leave something behind in order to go on with Jesus.  One person who felt the sacrifice was Zebedee, the father of James and John, watching his sons walking away.  

 

The early church father Ignatius said “Now I begin to become a disciple”.  The context of those words are what make them so powerful. Read Foxes Martyrs p12.

 

Mark 8:34-38, “Whoever would follow me…”

 

One time Peter said to Jesus in Matthew 19:27, “We have left everything to follow you!  What then will there be for us?”  

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