Mark 1 v 16 - 20

So, Jesus had a mission and He had a message, but He recognised that He needed a core band of followers and, as with any Jewish Rabbi, he should have disciples. Generally, Rabbis would go into places of learning and pick out the very best of the twelve year olds to follow them, but Jesus chose the misfits, the rejects to do His work with Him.

There were many fishermen on the Sea of Galilee: Josephus, the great historian of that period, stated that 330 fishing boats sailed Galilee in his day and the large population in that area would have had fish as their staple diet. Fishermen used two kinds of nets: a trawl net, let down from the back of the boat and moved forward drawing the four corners together; and a much smaller net, shaped like an umbrella, which is what Peter and Andrew used here. When I went to Israel a couple of years ago, the Sea of Galilee and the surrounding area were beautiful, with fresh winds and very fertile soil.

Let's study these men whom Jesus picked as His first followers:

1. These men were not drawn from the religious elite, they were ordinary people. We should not think so much of what we are, but of what Jesus Christ can make of us! With these and some other similar men, God transformed the World!

2. These men were doing their days work when Jesus called them. The call of God can penetrate any situation, even when we are hard at work. The world, in effect, is full of God!

3. How did Jesus call them? ''Follow Me!''. It is very likely that they already knew of Jesus, heard His teaching, spoken to Him, were drawn to Him. Their discipleship began with a personal response to Him, a similar feeling to falling in love. Generally, people decide to follow Jesus not because of anything that He says, but because of who He is.

4. What did Jesus offer them? He offered them a task, a job. He called them to service, something which would become everything to them, spending their every last ounce of energy and eventually the path of martyrdom. We are not certain how John died, but James was the first martyr of the Church, killed with a sword by Herod (Acts 12 v 2). Simon Peter was crucified upside down and Andrew was also crucified on an X shaped cross (this is where the white cross on the Scottish flag originates).

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