¹⁴Now after John had been taken into custody, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, ¹⁵and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”
¹⁶As He was going along by the Sea of Galilee, He saw Simon and Andrew, the brother of Simon, casting a net in the sea; for they were fishermen.
¹⁷And Jesus said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you become fishers of men.”
¹⁸Immediately they left their nets and followed Him.
¹⁹Going on a little farther, He saw James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, who were also in the boat mending the nets.
²⁰Immediately He called them; and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired servants, and went away to follow Him.
Jesus preaches the Kingdom of God, and makes it progress by calling disciples.
When the task of John the Baptist as the pioneer of Jesus came to an end, Jesus Himself steps forward. He takes over John’s preaching. With great authority He preaches the gospel in the region where He grew up (Matthew 2:19-23; Luke 2:39-52), the breakthrough of the new age (Mark 1:14,15; See also Mark 6:14-29).
His message is a message with an enormous scope, but also with an enormous depth. The only correct response on the part of those who hear it is repentance (Mark 1:15). That is to say, a change of mind and a change of the way of life, away from idols and back to the Lord God.
All complacency and self-righteousness must go away and all expectations must be placed on the coming Kingdom, even if it is not yet visible. You can and may be part of that Kingdom if you believe in Jesus, that is, if you put your trust in Him Who represents the Kingdom of God in person.
Faith comes through preaching (Romans 10:14-17).
In Mark 1:16-20 we read how Jesus works systematically, as if He follows a program. He calls simple people into his service as employees. He makes them to become His disciples. These disciples trust in Him and follow Him voluntarily, and in turn win others over to Him (Mark 16:14-15).
In doing so, He makes their spiritual mission fit in with their natural profession (Mark 1:16-17). How wonderful: it is not about propaganda for His ideas, to make his party strong, but it is all about valuable people, who are now still sinners, to save them, and prepare them for His eternal Kingdom. He desperately wants to save people to live in love with them, and make them intensely and utterly happy (Titus 3:3-7).
Those whom Jesus calls here, immediately say goodbye to their old profession, and follow Him (Mark 1:17,18,20). That is the result of His great appeal and the power of His word.
But it is also a conscious and voluntary choice of those who are invited to come.
The disciples knew themselves called by Jesus, and that says it all!
God has also called us (Compare 2 Timothy 1:7-10). Do you live by that calling? (Compare Ephesians 4:1-6).
▪︎ Ask God to help you to live as a faithful disciple of the Lord Jesus.
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