Sermons

Summary: Jesus only requires two things - repent with belief towards Him, and to follow Him.

Mark 1:14-20

14 Now after John was arrested, Jesus came to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God, 15 and saying, "The time is fulfilled, and the

kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news." 16 As Jesus passed along the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his

brother Andrew casting a net into the sea—for they were fishermen. 17 And Jesus said to them, "Follow me and I will make you fish for

people." 18 And immediately they left their nets and followed him. 19 As he went a little farther, he saw James son of Zebedee and his

brother John, who were in their boat mending the nets. 20 Immediately he called them; and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with

the hired men, and followed him.

After reading this passage, any one of us would have to live on Mars to claim we do not understand it! You do not have to be a theologically

-trained scholar to understand that Jesus only requires two things of us – to repent with belief in Him, and that we follow Him. The disciples

did that; and they also followed Jesus immediately!

Andrew, Simon, James and John not only followed immediately, but where it says they “left” their nets (v.16) and their father, Zebedee

(v.20), the word indicates that by choosing to follow Jesus they were also doing a “push-away” – you know, the kind of thing you should do

at the dinner table!

They left, or pushed-away some things; they left the comfort and security of family, occupation and familiar surroundings to follow Jesus.

One preacher imagined what that must’ve been like for their family:

Can’t you see papa Zebedee stomping into the house that night. “Ethel!!!” he yells. “Do you know what those kids of yours did to me? They

ran off with some wild-eyed preacher from Nazareth. Just like that. They didn’t even ask permission. This preacher comes along and starts

wailing about the kingdom of God coming, or some fool thing, and they get all teary eyed and religious and go off with the man!” [1]

Now, is that all it ever means to follow Jesus? Can you not be an obedient Christian without going to Africa like David Livingstone? Of

course; not everyone is called to leave home and family. Not everyone is called to be a missionary or a preacher. God uses people where

they are too; God has Christian plumbers, actors, teachers, stay-at-home Moms. God might even have a called politician or two!

One call is not greater than another – but there is nothing greater than responding to the call God places on your life to follow Him.

Dr. Jeffery E. Greenway, who served as president of Asbury Theological Seminary…told of an incident that occurred at his inauguration. A

pastor friend took him aside and said, “Jeff, there are two great days in a person’s life–the day you were born and the day you discovered

what you were born for. You were born for this.” [2]

You were born to respond to God, and it is the greatest day of your life to respond to His calling on your life.

On the other hand, if you try to respond to your neighbor’s call you’ll probably be miserable. If you’ve been called to be a missionary or a

preacher, respond to that call. If you’ve been called and gifted to be an accountant or a mechanic, then use those gifts in that calling.

Scripture declares that the gifts and calling of God are “without repentance”. That means God is never upset or embarrassed by the choice

he made in calling you to be his child, or in calling you to be the kind of servant you can be. God knew what He was doing when he gifted you

to be a follower and fellow-servant of Jesus Christ.

The concept of “following Jesus” carries the sense of making Jesus Christ the priority of your life where, when and how He calls you. It is

about readiness to leave it all behind, not necessarily the requirement of leaving all material possessions, family or occupation. Matthew

Henry, a theologian of the 17th century, wrote: Not that we must needs go out of the world, but we must sit loose to the world…. That

expression speaks to my soul. As Corrie ten Boom, who wrote “The Hiding Place” put it this way, We must hold the things of the world

loosely, because it hurts when God has to pry our fingers from around them.

Obedience begins with repentant belief and an immediate following of Jesus. But beginning does not constitute the whole of the journey.

Our call from the King to the Kingdom is not just immediate following, or beginning – but finishing.

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