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Sunday: “Follow Me” — 16 Comments

  1. Whatever transpired between the fishermen and Jesus was sufficient to convince these men to give up their careers and follow Jesus in an itinerant ministry. There is a further whimsical note, also in Mark, about James and John.

    ...James and John (the sons of Zebedee, but Jesus called them “Sons of Thunder”)... Mark 3;16

    I like that bit. I think that Jesus had a sense of humour and is giving us a little insight into what James and John were like. I don't think they were called the "Sons of Thunder" for no reason.

    I have seen some local fishermen, strongly built, heavily tattooed, bushy-bearded, hard-drinking men with a limited but loud vocabulary, and I wonder how they would respond to Jesus calling out, "Hey guys, come and follow me!"

    I suspect that James and John would not have been the sort of men that we would have thought would have made good Seventh-day Adventists.

    It perhaps serves as a reminder that our judgement of people is unreliable when it comes to sharing the Gospel.

    • Absolutely! I love this! So the old 'adage' still holds true. Quite simply:

      'Never judge a book by its cover!

  2. Jesus had just said some eyebrow – raising things and He asked His disciples, “Will you leave me too, like the others?“
    Simon Peter replied, “Lord, to whom else would we go? You have the words that give eternal life“ (John 6:68). I love that! Peter’s answer is my own testimony. When you’ve tried the wisdom that the world offers, you recognize that what Jesus offers is different. Jesus is fresh air and fresh water in a polluted world . As the popular slogan goes, “you’ve tried the rest, now try the best.“

    Thing is, I reached that understanding after being burnt out on the world’s wisdom. I had gone through a lot of losses. Made many poor choices based on my own instincts. In today’s lesson, the author indicates that Peter and Andrew might have been down–and–out at this point in their lives as far as resources. They were turning to Jesus at a low point. But I’d like to suggest it could also be the opposite.

    Jesus had just performed a miracle for them. They had caught no fish all night and now their nets overflowed. What if the four of them had a very successful partnership as fisherman? After all, they left James’ and John‘s father with servants. And now this was the moment of their greatest material success. But they abandoned their business for an uncertain livelihood to follow an itinerant teacher with small success. They needed no time to think things over… or to figure out about the needs of their families. Jesus had just given evidence of his power to provide for their needs and in humble faith they believed. (Remember, Jesus did heal Peter‘s mother-in-law a bit later.) A booming fishing business seemed worthless next to Jesus. They now invested all their physical and intellectual resources in the cause of the kingdom of heaven. Before, after hearing John the Baptist, they had been part-time disciples, their interests divided between this life and the higher life. But Jesus’s love was transforming their hearts and minds so they yielded to Him.

    It didn’t happen right away. Jesus told them he would make them “become fishers of men“. It was a long, slow process of training. They were expert fisherman, but they needed new skills and a deeper relationship with God. Jesus “caught” the four of them alive. He saw their teachable minds and willing hands and their willingness to put self aside. When Jesus speaks ordinary people are transformed and they learn how to “catch“ others for Him. After Jesus says “come” he says “go”, share the invitation to come. Eventually, the disciples became so much like Jesus that others noticed that they had been with Him (Acts 4:13).

  3. We are called to

    This is faith. This is a very difficult thing to do. The lesson asks what we give up to follow Christ. Yielding control over our lives- this is what the disciples did when they CHOSE to follow Jesus.

    I know someone whose life seems battered at every turn. Like Job, she suffered much personal loss. The promise she clung to, and still does is
    "I am with you always, even unto the end of the world."
    Matthew 28:20 KJV

  4. Following Christ does require us to give up our previous life of following our own inclinations or sinful life if you prefer.

    I am sure you know that Christ accepting James and John is a good example of how we are to accept those who walk into our church. Now Christ did not stop there. He continued to kindly teach them the way, the truth, and the life that leads to eternal life.

    Years ago, when our son was in college, he came home with the acronym of F.R.O.G. I have never forgotten. And never will even into eternity.

    I am not so sure Christ taught with His eyebrows. Be that as it may, He did teach every day, including the Sabbath, I do believe.

  5. There isn't a whole lot of information in the Bible about Andrew who seems to be the first disciple to follow Jesus according to John 1:40-42. When Jesus called him, he immediately found his brother Simon Peter and told him. "We have found the Messias, which is, being interpreted, the Christ." And he brought him to Jesus!

    How long did it take for Andrew to share Jesus with his brother?

    Have I seen Jesus? How long did it take me to "bring" my loved ones or others to Jesus? God help us to see Him as He is!

  6. To be honest, to answer the question “what have you been called to give up in order to follow Jesus”?; all that comes to mind is 'confusion and uncertainty' about how best to interact with the world around me.
    Yes, it is essential to repent of ones 'self-willed living' - living contrary to God’s Way -, before accepting to follow the Holy Spirit’s prompting with an honest and contrite heart.
    I suppose one could go into details about what damages this confusion caused in ones life, but is this helpful? Everyone truly repenting will recognize that the confusion of the heart and mind affected all of one’s decision making process; knowing that is what counts - Rom.7:18.

    Throughout Jesus' ministry, in addition to the 12 apostles, there were many more disciples who joint Jesus as He taught the Gospel throughout Judea. Having heard earlier of John the Baptist's preaching, most likely many of them had experienced a spiritual renewal in their life already. The door of their heart and mind had opened to show them that God was still calling on His children to follow Him.
    Many heard, but not all believed and continued to follow Him as did the 12 apostles chosen by Jesus personally. John 6:50-70 speaks to that - v.63 ‘the Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you – they are full of the Spirit and life.’ Jesus knew whom He had chosen when selecting the Twelve – yet one of them was a devil – v.70.

  7. Today we see Jesus calling a group of "normal" fisher-folk, yet we learn there were contrasts between each of them. These contrasts become both more obvious and more important as the story goes on.

    The real value of the differences between each one of these fishermen is seen after Jesus has returned to Heaven and the mission is left in their hands.

    Jesus ministry "needs" people from all walks of life. Each one of us has different life experiences, different interests, different education, different opportunities. Every person is unique, and so is our part in the mission.

    God knows which people you can relate to, and which people I can relate to. When we are ready to do our part, He will allow those people to cross our path. When we swallow our natural desire and learn to smile and listen, He will guide our interaction.

    Sometimes the job will appear very deliberate, such as being an overseas mission worker who is responsible for seeking people directly. Sometimes it may be a hospital volunteer, or greeter at a mission effort, where a simple greeting may become a conversation. At other times it may be so subtle that we might think there was nothing to it, but in our job or morning walk someone notices that we are always cheery.

    Each of us has been given a job suited to our unique experience. When we listen to Him, the Holy Spirit will tell us not only what to say, but also when to speak and when to be silent.

  8. All of us give up things to follow Jesus, and the main thing we give up is our self - being in control of our destiny.

    However, I wonder if emphasizing what we give up (and the implied idea that if we haven't given up a lot of things we probably aren't a Christian) is the best approach to take.

    There's nothing in any of the gospels that indicates that the four fishermen struggled to give up fishing and all that goes with it to follow Jesus. Let's face it, they had already been following him off and on for perhaps as long as a year when they were called (John's gospel suggests this). They also witnessed an amazing miracle. They were convinced Jesus was the Messiah. Remembering that their view of the Messiah was not entirely accurate, it wouldn't be so hard to give up fishing for that. They would later learn that there was much more of themselves to give up.

    And the same is true of us. Yes, maybe we've given up alcohol or jewelry or a good job or extra money, but these really aren't the biggest things we give up.

    Also, when you fall in love, you don't think about all the people you are giving up. You want to be with your beloved - it's not such a sacrifice. I feel the Christian life should be similar. Not that there won't be sacrifices, but if our focus is always on them, are we really in love?

  9. You are Simon, the son of Jonah. You shall be called Kephas (which is translated, A stone.) (John 1:42 Biblia)

    I discovered in the writings of Peter that Christ himself is called, that living stone, a cornerstone as foundation
    of the temple, the church of God. As members of the church we are living stones, built into a spiritual house, the church. (1 Peter 2:4-5)

    Christ, the cornerstone, is immovable. We as living stones are movable. We are tempted and attacked by the forces of evil. As fellow elder Peter considers himself to be a church member, a fellow stone of the church. (1 Peter 5:1) We all are belonging to the church militant. At the coming of Christ, translated into heaven, we will be belonging to the church triumphant. (1 Thessalonians 4:15-18) Presently, we are formed, shaped and educated to fit into that eternal church of eternity. We do have this hope.

    Winfried Stolpmann

    • I love this thought about Christ our cornerstone, Sister Winfried. I'm thinking that as long as we are placed firmly upon Jesus, we become unmovable too. The stones of a building that are at the bottom, placed directly upon the foundation stone, do not budge. An online commentary says,

      In architecture, the capstone is the rock or stone placed on top of a wall. Unlike the cornerstone, which is the base of the structure and an important stone of the foundation, the capstone is the final stone placed on top that helps hold the structure together. The capstone, like the cornerstone, is an important metaphor for Jesus and His prominence as Head of the church and the kingdom of God.....The word for “cornerstone” in Psalm 118:22, Matthew 21:42, Luke 20:17, Acts 4:11, Ephesians 2:20 KJV, and 1 Peter 2:7 could technically be translated as either “capstone” or “cornerstone.” ....Christ is both the cornerstone and capstone. He is the foundation of our salvation, what we believe, and our future hope (see Hebrews 6:18). He is also the capstone, holding all things together and keeping our salvation secure (John 10:28). He is the beginning represented by the cornerstone and the end represented by the capstone (see Revelation 22:13).

  10. Yes,I agree, in Christ, and only in Him, we are unmovable. In his early days Peter was movable. (Mark 14:29-31) The later outcome is well known. (Mark 14:66-72) Peter also was movable, when he came to Antioch, as he was opposed by Paul who had to condemn him for his hypocritical action. (Galatians 2:11-18) Jesus predicted Peter`s death as martyr, which shows that Peter became unmovable in his witness for Christ at the end of his life. (John 21:18-19)

    I think, movable or unmovable, may go up and down, day by day in our life. It seems to me, it is a dynamic process, not a static unalterable condidtion.

    Brother Winfried Stolpmann (Germany)

    • My apologies for misunderstanding your name, my brother. I have a woman friend “Winnie” ….. now you’ve taught me “Winfried” is a man’s name. And I just looked it up and found out it means “friend” and “protection , peace“ … so your name has a wonderful meaning as well! ☺️


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