Mark chapter 1:1-20 also tells the story of John the baptizer. We are reminded that John’s ministry was prophesied by Isaiah and he was corn to tell the story of the coming Savior and challenge people to repent and get right with God. Mark recalls John’s baptism of Jesus – and then we get a new perspective as we learn that following the baptism and God’s pronouncement of being pleased with Jesus as His Son, “the Spirit immediately drove Him out into the wilderness….forty days….tempted by Satan”. We’ll get the details on that part of the story in coming days. John is arrested, Jesus came back and is proclaiming the gospel and telling people to “repent and believe”. As He walks along the Sea of Galilee he comes upon some fisherman – simple in education and occupation – and He tells these two brothers “follow me and I will make you fishers of men”. Sort of a strange request to make of a couple guys He had never spoken with before – at least as far as we know. He just tells them to come follow Me. That is what God wants from you and me too. He just wants us to simply follow Jesus. It doesn’t need to be some big production, some massive program, some overwhelming set of steps. We just need to follow the Master. That means we learn and study and do what He did. That is what discipleship is all about. Being a disciple means to be a student – a learner – and we need to study and learn all we can about Jesus and live like that. So what does Peter and Andrew do? What is their response? It is important to note it: “And immediately they left their nets and followed Him”.
Did you catch that? Immediately – not in a few minutes – not when they got things cleaned up and in order – not when it was convenient – immediately. That means right now – whatever the time or place – no matter what is going on at the time – just pick up and follow Him. That is the kind of obedience that God desires from us as Christ Followers. Too often we get around to the obedience thing – if we do at all – when it fits our agenda or schedule. We manage to do what God wants when it is convenient. Obedience, and certainly discipleship, is not about it being convenient or easy or on our time line. It is when God calls – we answer. When Jesus speaks to us – we take action. In case we think that Peter and Andrew was a fluke – Jesus does it again – this time He sees John and his brother James working with their dad Zebedee mending the fishing nets. Jesus calls them to come and follow. John and James leave poor Zebedee in the boat with the hired help – there was no planning here – Jesus called – they immediately take off to follow. I imagine that Zebedee had a different plan – but for John and James their response was immediate and decisive. They were going to be Christ Followers and do what it took which meant leaving behind whatever was going on at the time to spend time with Jesus. Do you respond to the Savior like that? Is it your highest honor and goal to be in His presence? That is what He wants from us – to have us sitting at His feet – to have us following as He leads – to be in relationship with Him each and every step. He is calling us with the very same words – “come follow me” – the question is – how will you respond? Is He going to be the One you follow and use as your leader and guide? Or are you relying on self? Time to figure out who is in charge in your life!