Mark 1:14-20

When the first four disciples heard the call of Jesus, they left nets, boats and family.  What are you willing to give up to follow Jesus?

Jesus claims that God has fulfilled the promises made in the old testament with two statements; The time (kairosis fulfilled, and the Kingdom of God is at hand. The decisive moment has arrived. The Israelites of Jesus’ day thought of God’s kingdom as a restoration of the power and glory that Israel enjoyed during David’s reign; but the kingdom proclaimed by Jesus is different.  Jesus’ first coming, but which will be fully manifested only in his Second Coming.

“Repent, and believe in the good news”. The appropriate response to the coming of the kingdom is twofold: repentance and faith.  We tend to think of repentance as feeling guilty, but it is really a change of mind or direction, seeing things from a different perspective. The faith that Jesus asks of us is to believe in the Good News (euangelion). The Greek word euangelion combines the words eu (good) and angellos (to proclaim). In the New Testament, euangelion  is usually the good news of Jesus Christ and the salvation that he offers. In this case, the good news of God.

Then Jesus calls four disciples. Why does Jesus call these four disciples? Why do they follow? Nothing in the text fully answers either of these questions. These men did not seek to become Jesus’ disciples. Their attention is focused on the task at hand—casting their net—hoping for a good catch. Jesus chooses his disciples rather than waiting to be sought out by them. Jesus’ call is also different in that he calls them , not to follow the Torah, but to follow himself. Apparently the four men see something compelling in Jesus, something that causes them to walk away from that which is precious to follow him. For Simon and Andrew, the sacrifice is leaving their nets. For James and John, it is leaving their father.

~Fr. Chesco