Mark 1:16-20: Living for Something Bigger than Yourself
16 Passing alongside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew the brother of Simon casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. 17 And Jesus said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you become fishers of men.”[f] 18 And immediately they left their nets and followed him. 19 And going on a little farther, he saw James the son of Zebedee and John his brother, who were in their boat mending the nets. 20 And immediately he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired servants and followed him.
When Jesus called his first disciples, he did not do it with sleek marketing. Follow me and invest your life in me and in return, I’ll give you this free bag ( like how credit card companies would entice us). Jesus’ offer was simple – Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.
Jesus offered something more than just their present occupation. He asked them to be something else. Jesus asked them to live not for themselves but for others. Some called it leadership development but I’d call it a call to live a life of serving and making disciples.
I know the context here was that the disciples left their nets and followed him. They left their job as fishermen and became the first disciples. Most who will be reading this text will not be called to leave their jobs but to be a fisher of men in their jobs.
For some who reads this text, it might be a call to leave your present job and make a decision to be a full-time minister as what happened to me. But whether we go full time in ministry or full time in whatever career God has opened for you – we are called to fish for men.
Lastly, we see in this text how Mark differentiated them by using the term hired servants. When Jesus called James and John, they left their nets to the hired servants and followed Jesus.
When we follow Jesus – we are not hired servants. We are servants summoned by the King himself. It is a privilege and an honor to do God’s work. Whether you work as a pastor or a volunteer at church – it is a great privilege for us to be given that opportunity.