Summary: Jesus called Simon, Andrew, James, and John to ministry because they met four requirements. Those who want to be used by God today must meet those same four requirements.


Text: Mark 1:14 – 20


Matthew 4:25 “And there followed him great multitudes of people from Galilee, and from Decapolis, and from Jerusalem, and from Judaea, and from beyond Jordan.”

•There were multitudes that followed Jesus and listened to His preaching and teaching, but he called only a handful to ministry

•Why? Jesus was looking for men that met four specific requirements

I. Jesus was looking for men that would respond to the call of salvation. (vv. 14, 15)

A. These men had been listening to Christ teach and preach for almost a year (between vv. 13 and 14)

B. Timeline (Gospel of John)

i. Jesus tempted in wilderness (Mark 1:12, 13)

ii. Jesus returns to Galilee; Andrew, Simon, and probably James and John follow him, answering the call to salvation

iii. Philip and Nathanael join them

iv. Jesus turns water into wine at Cana

v. Jesus, His family, and His disciples move to Capernaum

vi. Jesus goes to Jerusalem with His disciples to observe the Passover; cleanses temple while there

vii. Nicodemus comes to speak with Jesus at night

viii. Jesus passes through Samaria on the way back to Galilee and speaks to the woman at the well

ix. Jesus heals the nobleman’s son

x. In the meantime, John the Baptist is put into prison

xi. Jesus preaches and teaches in Galilee as Andrew, Peter, James, and John go back to fishing (Mark 1:14, 15)

C. These men had responded to Christ’s call to repent and believe by the time we get to vv. 16 – 20

II. Jesus was looking for men that would obey His commands.

A. Greek indicates that “come ye after me” is not an invitation, but an order

B. Mark doesn’t give us a complete picture, but Luke does (Luke 5:1 – 11)

i. Jesus was a carpenter by trade, and He was telling professional fishermen how to fish

ii. His way was not the “right” way – they were supposed to do it at night, far away from shore

iii. They were skeptical, but willing to obey, and their obedience paid off

iv. Basically, Christ was telling them that if they would be obedient, they would be of great use in God’s kingdom

III. Jesus was looking for men who would follow wherever He led. (v. 18)

A. While they were training as His disciples, Christ let them to Nazareth, Cana, Capernaum, Sychar in Samaria, the country of the Gergesenes, Nain, Bethsaida, Caesarea Philippi, Bethany, Jerusalem

B. He would lead them through valleys, up mountains, through deserts, across the Sea of Galilee

C. He would lead them to places that received His message, and to places where they wanted to kill Him

D. He led them in ministering to the sick, the poor, the hurting and brokenhearted, and to the outcasts

E. He led them to the lost (They became fishers of men)

F. After His death, resurrection, and ascension, He would lead them through the Spirit throughout the known world, including Rome, Turkey, and Greece

IV. Jesus was looking for men who were willing to put Him first. (vv. 19, 20)

A. They dropped their nets and left their boats

B. James and John left their father and the family business

C. Greek “went after” means once and for all determination to follow Jesus

D. They were asked to repent and believe; they responded by leaving and following

E. Three of the four died a martyr because they put Jesus first, even before their own lives

i. Peter was crucified at Rome

ii. Andrew was crucified in Achaia on an “X” shaped cross

iii. James was beheaded by Herod at Jerusalem

iv. John was banished to Patmos by Domitian; died at about 100 AD


•Why did Jesus call these four men into ministry? Because they met the requirements

o They had repented and believed

o They obeyed Him

o They followed Him

o They put Him first

•If you want to be used in ministry, you have to meet the same requirements

•The problem is that many Christians are satisfied by not being used in ministry

•Will you answer the call?

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