Summary: Dominant Thought: Jesus expects men to make His call to follow our highest priority - one that is evidenced by obedience to His will
This week we celebrate the fact that we live in a great nation. I’m thankful for the freedoms that we enjoy – grateful to those who sacrificed so that we’d have them – and mindful that we can’t take any of that for granted. I’m thankful that we live in a land where we can freely learn about and speak about Jesus.
But you know what?
None of us would know much about Jesus at all if it weren't for the work of His personal students. They were hand-selected - men He knew He could teach and use, and He used them to turn the world upside down.
From the very beginning of their call He challenged them. Their call to follow Jesus is a challenge to us as well.
Let's get it clear that Jesus does not always demand that a person leave his vocation and follow Him in full-time professional service. In fact, following Jesus in the same way that these men did is impossible - He isn't here to follow!
But we all have a commission from our Lord, and we’re all supposed to be bringing people into the Church. What exactly does Jesus expect of a follower? We’re going to see that Jesus expects men to make His call to follow the highest priority in their lives - a priority that shows in the way we live and think.
Mark 1:14-20 (NIV)
14 After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. 15 "The time has come," he said. "The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!" 16 As Jesus walked beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. 17 "Come, follow me," Jesus said, "and I will make you fishers of men." 18 At once they left their nets and followed him. 19 When he had gone a little farther, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John in a boat, preparing their nets. 20 Without delay he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men and followed him.
I. Ordinary People Engaged in Ordinary Life
This is WHO He called.
Part of the picture that Mark helps us see here is the ordinariness of the men Jesus called to be His closest companions and His frontline movers and shakers.
4 of these guys are fishermen. They are on the shore, with their boats and nets, when he calls them to commit their lives to following Him. Nothing could have looked more common than fishermen, out working on the shores of Galilee.
For some reason, we tend to think that people who go on to do significant things are people who have significant backgrounds…whatever that means. You know – the guy who becomes president was born in a family that was always in politics. People who are celebrated and noted are typically people who had a head start because of their fortunate background.
But I guess Jesus’ concern isn’t about how celebrated or noted we are by societal standards, is it? Neither is the significance of the work He calls us to do the same as societal standards.
I’m convinced that the Lord wants us to realize that being an ordinary person is not only OK, it’s the norm in His Kingdom work.
1 Corinthians 1:26-31 Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. 27 But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28 He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things--and the things that are not--to nullify the things that are, 29 so that no one may boast before him. 30 It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God--that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. 31 Therefore, as it is written: "Let him who boasts boast in the Lord."
Outstandingly ordinary. OK, that’s you.
“I’m just a homemaker; a blue collar guy; a student; a widowed lady; a guy who blew it and is making a comeback; I’m just a young person. I’m nobody.” So?!
There was a guy named Amos. He wasn’t born in a preacher’s home. He wasn’t able to speak at age 1 week. He wasn’t from the town where great prophets were all born. He worked with sheep and trees for a living. And God called Amos.
Amos 7:14-15 Amos answered Amaziah, "I was neither a prophet nor a prophet's son, but I was a shepherd, and I also took care of sycamore-fig trees. 15 But the LORD took me from tending the flock and said to me, 'Go, prophesy to my people Israel.'