Binding Broken Hearts

Introducing Jesus to Those Who Need Him Most

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Sacrifice and Service - Mark 1:16-20

In the second half of Mark 1, Jesus begins to officially create the small team of men whom He will groom to grow the church after His resurrection. As Jesus walked on the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee, somewhere between Bethsaida and Capernaum, He paused and watched four men at work in their fishing business.

He watched as they discharged their duties with the precision of those who excel in their labors. Jesus knew that the skills they had developed would serve them well in “fishing” for souls. But what meant more to Jesus than skilled followers was the heart for truth that each of the men had.

“And as He walked by the Sea of Galilee, He saw Simon and Andrew his brother casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. Then Jesus said to them, ‘Follow Me, and I will make you become fishers of men.’ They immediately left their nets and followed Him. When He had gone a little farther from there, He saw James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, who also were in the boat mending their nets. And immediately He called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired servants, and went after Him.” (Mark 1:16-20)

Two things touched my heart from these verses:

First, Jesus called businessmen to join Him in changing the world for God’s kingdom. So many times we can get caught up in thinking that only those who are spiritually trained (e.g., pastors, evangelists) can work with Jesus to change the world. We may feel that because we are good in business, or teaching, or art, or any other career, that joining Jesus in His work is not for us.

But Jesus went specifically to the beach to find Peter, Andrew, James, and John to extend His invitation. He valued their experience and expertise. Jesus even framed the invitation in the language they understood best – “I will make you fishers of men.”

This means that each one of us today can be used by God to further His kingdom right where we are, with the experience and expertise we have developed by honing our craft. It could very well be that God will ask us at some point to shift gears and leave our occupation in order to work in full-time ministry. However, for the most part, we can build God’s kingdom doing what we do every day and reaching those in our immediate sphere of influence as we follow Jesus and point others to Him. So let’s use the talents, gifts, and experience God has given us to reach souls for Jesus.

Second, I am really challenged by the immediacy of the response from Peter, Andrew, James, and John. Jesus called, and in that moment, they left what they were doing. They left their nets, their boats, their businesses, and their homes to follow Jesus, the itinerant rabbi.

Do I respond like this when Jesus asks me to leave something behind so that I can follow Him more fully? Do I just drop it and go? I wish I could say, “Yes.” But the truth is I usually hem and haw for a while. Perhaps Jesus didn’t really mean I should let THAT go. Maybe I misheard. Maybe it wouldn’t matter if I held on to it for a while.

Peter, Andrew, James, and John saw something in Jesus that they wanted more than what their current lifestyle offered them. Jesus was so compelling to them, they didn’t hesitate to follow.

This is what I want in my life. I want Jesus to be so compelling to me that all He has to do is ask, and I follow.

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