As I’ve been reading through the Gospel of Mark, one key aspect I have never noticed before stood out to me in recent days. Mark 1:16-20 highlights the key aspect as seen below:
Now as he walked by the sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew his brother casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. 17 And Jesus said unto them, Come ye after me, and I will make you to become fishers of men. 18 And straightway they forsook their nets, and followed him. 19 And when he had gone a little further thence, he saw James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, who also were in the ship mending their nets. 20 And straightway he called them: and they left their father Zebedee in the ship with the hired servants, and went after him.
Reading through these verses, it became clear to me one theme which would not only be developed in Mark but all four Gospels. Simon and Andrew were fishermen by trade, to leave their nets would indicate that they were now giving their full allegiance to Jesus instead of the things of this world. In other words, there was a radical shift in their allegiance from the world to now pursuing and following after Christ.
Furthermore, the story tells us that not only did they follow but also James the son of Zebedee and John likewise left “their father Zebedee” and “went after him.” Here was Jesus, the promised Messiah who had come to save men from their sins and manifest the glory of God through His obedience to the will of the Father, doing for us what we could not do for ourselves, and these new disciples were now following Jesus. The cost of following Christ is made clear here, those who might follow Christ and be His disciples will have a new attitude towards the things of the world, abandoning them in hopes of pursuing Christ.
Thinking upon this passage, it causes me to question my own sincerity in following Jesus. Here is a group of disciples who left their source of income, fishing, to follow Jesus where He would go. Even more, the other two mentioned left their own father immediately in order to follow Him.
Now the question I must ask myself is, how serious is my desire to pursue and follow after Christ? Is it a mere desire to have the blessings of Christianity, live a comfortable life, and do what I want while trying to add Jesus to my life, when convenient? Such a response indicates a heart in need of God’s work, for those who do not treasure Christ more than the world show that their allegiance, first and foremost, lies not with Him but with the things of the world.
On the other hand, can I look at my life and see a growing desire to know more of Christ, to follow Him no matter where it leads or how uncertain the future is, and to pursue above all else that which lasts for eternity? May our goals, ambitions, allegiance, and treasure lie not in our family, friends, job, or possessions but in knowing, following, serving, and giving our all in following Jesus.