Summary: As Jesus began His ministry, one of the first priorities was to assemble a team of men to serve alongside Him, men He could teach and equip to carry on the work of the church. The Lord is still seeking those who will follow Him in service.
Assembling a Team
Mark 1: 16-20
Following His baptism, wilderness temptation, and public introduction in Galilee, Jesus continued His work here on earth. One of the first priorities was to assemble a team of men to walk with Him, whom He could teach and prepare for ministry.
In our text Jesus has passed by some common fishermen and extended the call to follow Him. This common, humble Man from Galilee was seeking men to serve alongside Him. He didn’t go to the Temple or the Synagogues; Jesus went out among the world to find disciples. He was more concerned with their heart than their heredity. He sought those with passion rather than prestige. He chose men of faith instead of men of fame.
Jesus continues to seek the same characteristics in the lives of believers today. Our ability to know and serve the Lord is not based upon, or limited to our possessions, our positions, or our prominence. Jesus is looking for those who have a desire to serve Him. I want to look at the insights of this divine encounter with Jesus as we consider: Assembling a Team.
I. Their Calling (17) – And Jesus said unto them, Come ye after me, and I will make you to become fishers of men. The call that Jesus extended was very simple, but it reveals several things to us. Notice:
A. The Invitation – Come ye after me. These men had already met Jesus. They were familiar with who He was and even regarded Him as the Messiah, (John 1: 35-42.) That initial encounter with Jesus would not be the last. Jesus has returned unto them with an invitation to follow Him in service. He wanted these men to come and work alongside Him.
I rejoice to know that Jesus doesn’t just come by or speak once and that is it. He is not obligated to speak more than once, but often He passes by again and again seeking the hearts of men.
Just as it was with the disciples, we too must hear and heed the call of our Lord. In this passage, these men have received an invitation to service. But, before that invitation can be offered, one must accept the invitation for salvation. You have likely heard an invitation from the Lord. Whatever He desires of you, I would encourage you to respond and follow Him.
We can’t respond without an invitation. Salvation and our service unto the Lord is not something we choose the timing or decide the direction. John 6:44 – No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day. We must listen as the Lord invites us unto Him.
B. The Intention – Come ye after me, and I will make you…fishers of men. Jesus was very clear in His desire for these men. (He is always clear regarding His desire for our lives. It often requires prayer and commitment to understand, but the will of God is not vague.) He had a specific work for them to do and revealed His intention for their lives.
This was a specific call to the disciples, and yet it is the same call all hear from the Lord. It is His desire that all serve as fishers of men. The Lord wants us to be a witness and bear His testimony among the world. There is not a one, who has ever been saved, that the Lord did not desire to be a witness and reach others for His glory!
I don’t know where you are in the journey today, but I can assure you that God has a plan for your life. He has a purpose for you to fulfill. We are not here to simply coast through life and ease right into heaven. We are saved and set apart to serve the Lord. He intends for us to be of service in some capacity. I am convinced that most have a problem with obedience to the call of God rather than discerning His intention for their lives.
C. The Investment – Come ye after me, and I will make you to become fishers of men. Jesus reveals their lives will be a work in progress. Hearing and answering the call was an important decision, but it wasn’t all that was involved. These men would encounter new and challenging tasks as they walked with Jesus. There would be seasons of difficulty and moments when their faith would be tested. These men had a lot to learn and needed to grow in the Lord. They were great fishermen, but it would take time for them to become fishers of men.
The Lord was making a great investment in them and they too must be committed to making an investment in Him. There was much to learn and they must be determined to walk patiently and consistently if they were to fulfill the Lord’s desire for their lives.