Summary: The call to follow Jesus means a bigger catch for common fisherman.
Mark 1:14-20 ”A Bigger Catch”
Have you ever been invited to be a part of something big? I mean really, really big.
What was your response?
What if accepting the invitation meant leaving familiar surroundings and the comfort of home?
Do you do it? Would you?
This was the exact question placed before Simon and Andrew, James and John.
We heard as Jesus invited all four to “Come, follow me”.
Now notice what Jesus doesn’t seem to tell them as He calls them.
-First, he doesn’t give them a timeframe. He never said, “follow me for three years” or “follow me for a few months and see if you like it and want to continue”. He said simply enough, “follow me”. No time frame, no limits, just follow me.
-Second, he doesn’t tell them what they will face. He doesn’t tell these four men that they will go through three years of awesome and unbelievable experiences and then find themselves in the midst of controversy, fighting and the death of their leader. He doesn’t tell them what to expect.
If he had told them these things, we have to wonder if their response to His call would have been as positive as the one He got.
I mean, what if He had pulled these guys each to the side and said, “Listen, for three years you and I are going to have a great time. We are going to help people and minister to their needs. This means that sometimes we will feed large groups of people, 5,000 men plus women and children with a little boys sardines and saltine crackers. We’re going to go to a wedding and I’ll have to make the wine. Peter, you are going to walk on water. I’m going to calm the storm, heal the sick, raise the dead. For three years we will do all sorts of things but we will also have a lot of confrontations with the religious leaders.
And eventually the Pharisees and Sadducees are going to get tired of feeling the people aren’t trusting them anymore and they will plot with the government to kill me. One of the disciples, not yet with us, is going to betray me and hand me over to them.
They will have a bogus trial and I will end up crucified. All of you will reject me and pretend you don’t know me but you will be known and eventually the religious leaders and the government will look for all of you and nearly every one of you will die a painful and horrible death, not unlike the one I’m going to experience.
Come and follow me.”
Would they have done so? If He had told them what was going to happen to Him and to them would they have so readily left everything and followed Him?
In my own personal life, I have asked at different times for God to reveal His plan to me. I cried out, “God, what do you want from me? What am I supposed to be doing? What is the overall plan here? Can I know it? Why does it have to be day by day?” And even while I do so, I understand that God has reasons for not telling us everything. One main reason is that we couldn’t handle it.
But what Christ did not tell them is not what is important here. It’s not what’s missing that we are listening to. Instead, we are challenged to listen to what is here.
And what we have very simply is the call.
To Simon and Andrew, Jesus says, “Come, follow me and I will make you fishers of men.”
It’s likely that He said the exact same thing to James and John.
And our scripture tells us that these men got up, left everything and followed Him. Why?
Because Christ invited them to be a part of something bigger than they had ever been a part of before.
He offered them a challenge, something worthwhile to devote their life to, a way to make a difference in the world.
“Come, follow me and I will make you fishers of men.”
We tend to think that the call to ministry is a call to sacrifice. We tend to think that obedience to Christ means we give something up. And perhaps it is.
But whenever I’ve had an opportunity to speak to someone who has responded to the call of God to become a fisher of men, whenever I’ve heard missionaries speak, whenever I’ve heard ministers reflect on their call, whenever I’ve heard lay people reflect on their journey with Christ, what I’ve yet to hear is complaints being made about the sacrifice.
What I have heard from these people is the joy that comes from accepting the challenge that Christ invites them to be a part of, the realization that through the power of God, they have been allowed to make a difference in the world.