The Gospel of Mark | Calling Forth | Mark 1.16-20 |

by | Oct 1, 2023

“As Jesus walked beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. 17 “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.”18 At once they left their nets and followed him. 19 When he had gone a little farther, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John in a boat, preparing their nets. 20 Without delay he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men and followed him.” Mark 1.16-20

This is my favorite and go to verse for life and preaching. Typically, when asked to speak to a group of students, college or youth, it’s on my heart to read and share this verse. I like it because it covers a multitude of “calls.” It speaks to a call to be in relationship with Jesus as we follow him with our lives, and it invites us to a call to be in ministry (either lay or clergy) for the sake of the Gospel.

These two “calls” are crucial in our faith journey. Sometimes people only accept first call – “Yes Lord, I will give you my heart and will receive salvation, forgiveness of sins and life everlasting!” Then they go on to live as if nothing really happened. Sure, they might receive the benefits of the blessing but the are not engaging or impacting the Kingdom.

The full understanding of the call is to say yes to Christ’s gift of salvation and then to join him in this work. It’s what some have called the second half of the gospel. We trust Jesus and then we go to work for him. All Christians have been given a charge to be in ministry with Christ. Not all are called to preach or teach, but all are called to serve and disciple.

When Jesus approached the disciples (Peter, Andrew, James and John) on the shoreline, all were fishermen but not all would do the same kind of service to the Lord. Peter might preach more than Andrew. Andrew might administer the church more than James. John might sit and encourage the Lord more than Peter. They all had gifts and they were all different. Some of us are called to be overseers of particular parts of God’s body, others are called to strengthen the body, and others still are to serve Christ in many different and wonderful ways. The important part is to to say yes to the call of Jesus first, then to see where he takes us.

Have you heard his voice calling you? Have you said yes to a relationship with Jesus? Have you entered into his service? Why not surrender now to Christ? Allow him to save you, fill you and anoint you for his service starting today and for eternity.

“O Lord God, I praise you. You are a good and loving God. Come now, Holy Spirit, help us hear your voice. Help me know the power of your words and to follow. I love you God for saving me. Call me forth to do even greater deeds so the world might know you are grace-filled and that you are God. For you are good and your love endures forever.” Amen