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Mark - Who is Christ?
A Bible Study Course on the Gospel of Christ according to MARK
PART 2 - The Beginning of Jesus's Ministry in Galilee (Mark 1:14 - 1:45)

2. Jesus Calls His First Four Disciples (Mark 1:16-20)

MARK 1:16-20
16 Passing along by the sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew the brother of Simon casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. 17 Jesus said to them, “Come after me, and I will make you into fishers for men.” 18 Immediately they left their nets, and followed him. 19 Going on a little further from there, he saw James the son of Zebedee, and John, his brother, who were also in the boat mending the nets. 20 Immediately he called them, and they left their father, Zebedee, in the boat with the hired servants, and went after him.

The world is like a sea filled with fish, and Christ is like the merciful fisher of men. In the present age, he does not take all the fish of the sea at once, but only those whom God had prepared and given to him. The church is the fellowship of those that have been fished from the sea of the world, who are born again and devoted to the service of God that they may altogether cast the net of his word into the sea of men, and catch many for God.

Jesus fished Peter and his brother Andrew first. In his divine insight, Jesus saw in their hearts the fire of repentance and longing for purity, which was kindled by John the Baptist when he called them to turn to the Creator.

Both Peter and Andrew were unlearned men, but they were diligent fishermen with good experience of the perils of the sea. They were not philosophizers, but were prepared for hard work.

They had already known Christ, having heard the Baptist’s testimony about him that he was Christ, the Lamb of God, and they believed in him. Moreover, when their former teacher was put in prison, they immediately followed the Lord Jesus obeying his call for regeneration.

Probably Peter and Andrew went back, after their return from Jordan, to their nets, while Jesus worked in Galilee. Yet, when the Lord came to Capernaum as his town, and lived at the seaside, his call hit them as an arrow. They immediately followed him and left their boats and nets, i.e. their livelihood, for the Lord is greater than all earthly security.

When the divine King demands us to come to him, all we have to do is to obey and follow him, even if unbelievers object and scorn us. We have no right to think of money and subsistence, for the Lord provides us with our daily bread.

Christ wants to make you a fisher of men, not to win them through your cleverness, tricks, or money, but through your humility and kindness, in the power of the Holy Spirit. The net of Christ’s servants is the word of God accompanied with their prayers and cast according to the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Then Christ by his guidance leads many fish into the net of his love.

In following Christ, we learn that it is he who fishes others, not us, but the Lord in us, who is the worker who called you, purified, and guided you to a successful service. Every man by his nature is unworthy and unable to serve God. We are all unprofitable servants, but the Lord’s calling: “Come after Me, and I will make you become a fisher of men” qualifies you for spiritual service, and there remains no boasting on our behalf, but all the glory is to the Lord who turns us into profitable servants. In following him, and holding fast to him, he teaches us wisdom, rightness, and holy conduct, as he said: “You are the light of the world… Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:14-16)

That same day, Christ met John the evangelist and his brother James, and blessed their family through calling both mighty men to the service of God. Immediately these fishermen left their nets and followed him, although this means giving up their only means of livelihood, but they, together with all faithful ministers, recognized the rule: “We cannot serve God and Mammon”. Those who serve the Lord do not seek money, but experience God himself dwelling in them through his Holy Spirit. This Spirit does not gather material for himself, but overcomes, and distributes it for the sake of love.

John and James did not mend nets any more, but joined the church of Christ into a holy unit with patience. Ministry in church requires longsuffering, kindness and all the characteristics of the love of God, for the church is love; otherwise, it is not a church.

Do you hear the calling of Christ while he passes today in the midst of the Arab nations, calling those who are prepared, and training them for actual ministry? Will you answer his call immediately and follow Christ with determination? Did you lead, by the guidance of his Spirit, any man to the Savior that he may save and sanctify him? What do you intend to do? Will you sleep unconcerned? Will you work to glorify yourself, or to serve the living Lord?

PRAYER: O Lord Jesus, we thank you that you called us to your service. We confess we are unprofitable servants, unworthy of this call. Please forgive our sins, fill us with your Holy Spirit, and lead us to the obedience of faith that we may serve you to the best of our ability, and become faithful in doing the service of your love. Free us from relying on money, give us faithful trust in your providence. Answer our prayer, and save our friends from their sins as you saved us. You know every man for whom we pray regualrly. You are the All-Hearing God.


  1. What is the meaning of Jesus’ call: “Come after Me, and I will make you become fishers of men”?


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