Summary: What does it mean to follow Jesus? What does it mean to hear "the Master's call?" "Many are called but few are chosen," the Bible says. In order to understand that statement, we may say that many are called but few really respond to that call.
"And as 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. And Jesus said to them, 'Follow Me, and I will make you become fishers of men.' And they immediately left the nets and followed Him. And going on a little farther, He saw James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, who were also in the boat mending the nets. And immediately He called them; and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired servants, and went away to follow Him." (Mark 1:16-20)
What does it mean to follow Jesus? What does it mean to hear "the Master's call?" "Many are called but few are chosen," the Bible says. In order to understand that statement, we may say that many are called but few really respond to that call. You see, Jesus is ready to accept all who will follow Him at His call.
The Rich Young Ruler was called to follow Jesus. But the Rich Young Ruler had a problem. He had a love of money. His possessions possessed him. He had grown used to his comfortable lifestyle and was reluctant to give it up. Jesus had called him, but he would not respond to that call. The call was there, but the response was not.
What does it mean to respond to the call of Jesus Christ? In Revelation 17:14, we have a picture of the overcoming Lamb of God who is King of Kings. Jesus Christ is pictured there. The saints of God are with Him. In that passage, they are described as the called and chosen and faithful. This is a picture of what every saint of God should be in Christ. It is not enough to be called. Nor is it enough to respond properly and be chosen. We must also be faithful. Faithfulness is what the Lord desires of us.
Our text today is about the Master's Call. As we focus on it, we will see the power of his call and hopefully hear His call to us. I would like for us to look at two major areas. The first is The Nature Of The Call. The second is The Authority Of The Call.
The Nature Of The Call
What is the nature of the call of Christ which comes to us? What are its characteristics? There are several important truths concerning the call of Christ. The first is that it is made to ordinary people.
In our text, we see Jesus walking along the Sea of Galilee. But this was more than simply a casual afternoon stroll. Jesus was looking for people. He found Peter and Andrew, James and John. They were fishermen. They were just ordinary people. They were not trained in the Jewish religion, as the Scribes or Levites or Priests. They were not Rabbis. As a matter of fact, they were not even Pharisees or Sadducees. They were just common folk, ordinary fishermen; people like you and me. But apart from all others whom Jesus could have called, He called these. It is as if Jesus wanted to make a statement that anyone could be used by Him for His purpose. Jesus wasn't looking for the "cream of the crop." He was looking for ordinary people. Here he found four, and He called them.
1 Corinthians 1:26 reminds us of God's delight in calling ordinary people when it says, "For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble."
In other words, those characteristics which the world prides itself in having, God can create in the most humble of us. These are the kind of people He delights in using - just ordinary people. The Gospel is to the poor, the broken-hearted, the bound, the needy, the sinful. It is not for the proud one who needs nothing, but it is for the one who hungers and thirsts. Are you an ordinary person? God's call goes out to you. And I am encouraged that God uses ordinary people.
Further, we need to see that the call of Christ goes forth to busy people. The Master's call comes while we are in the midst of the affairs of this life. Look at what happened to these fishermen. They were in the midst of living their lives, of running their businesses. Perhaps they had spent a great deal of time planning their future and setting goals for themselves. Maybe they were moving right on schedule toward meeting these goals. Yet, the call of Christ came to them in the midst of their busy-ness.
As a matter of fact, our text, and especially the related passage in Luke chapter 5, indicates that they had a rather large and prosperous fishing business. In Luke, it states that James and John were partners with Simon Peter in the fishing business. And in Mark, we are informed that James and John, along with their father, Zebedee, had hired servants to help them in their boats. So, perhaps we have a corporation here. Whatever the case, it is apparent that they were involved in life. They were busy. They had a business to manage. They had employees to supervise. Yet Jesus called them.