Today in our journey through Mark, we will be looking at Mark 1:16-28. These sections are entitled Jesus Calls the First Disciples and The Man with an Unclean Spirit:
Jesus Calls the First Disciples
16 As Jesus passed along the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the sea—for they were fishermen. 17 And Jesus said to them, “Follow me and I will make you fish for people.” 18 And immediately they left their nets and followed him. 19 As he went a little farther, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John, who were in their boat mending the nets. 20 Immediately he called them; and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men, and followed him.
The Man with an Unclean Spirit
21 They went to Capernaum; and when the sabbath came, he entered the synagogue and taught. 22 They were astounded at his teaching, for he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes. 23 Just then there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit, 24 and he cried out, “What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are, the Holy One of God.” 25 But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be silent, and come out of him!” 26 And the unclean spirit, convulsing him and crying with a loud voice, came out of him. 27 They were all amazed, and they kept on asking one another, “What is this? A new teaching—with authority! He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey him.” 28 At once his fame began to spread throughout the surrounding region of Galilee.
In our first section, we see Jesus calling His first disciples. There are a couple of interesting things that we see in this passage. First, notice a word that you will see over and over again in the Gospel of Mark – immediately. Jesus calls them and they immediately leave and follow behind. In Mark, Jesus is a man of action. He is always moving, always going, always calling, always teaching. He moves with purpose. And He calls us to do the same. He comes, and immediately, people follow Him. As Christians, we are called to be like Him, to be active, to go, to serve, to take that “Good News” with us!
We see who he calls – fisherman. Common, ordinary, uneducated, fishermen. He didn’t go to the expected places to call His disciples. He went to places where they were willing to follow. He calls all of us to follow; likewise there is no one that He doesn’t call. Just because you aren’t perfect or powerful or a preacher doesn’t mean that He hasn’t called you. That also means that there may be someone who you wouldn’t think to call, that God has called.
When he calls them, they leave behind their family. That doesn’t sound like a big deal in our culture, almost all of us leave home and make our way in the world. That didn’t happen in their world. That wasn’t the way that it worked. You didn’t leave home. You didn’t depart from your family, especially to follow a preacher that you just met. But they did. Immediately. Why? Well the next section tells us.
We see in verses 21-28 that Jesus teaches with authority. He is different from the religious leaders of the day. He taught differently. He was different. And that is THE thing we see in these two passages. The disciples, they realize He is different. The people in the synagogue, they realize He is different. Even the unclean spirit, he knows that He is different. He has authority.
Jesus is the king of kings. The Lord of Lords. He is God Himself. He loves us, but He is not just a common ordinary person. He is God in the flesh. He is King. He is savior.
And He demands our worship. Our obedience. Our devotion. He is a lot of things. But is not common.
He calls us to attention.
Today, does Jesus Christ have our attention? Or is just background noise? Is He the Lord or our lives?
Jesus demands that we pay attention.
Tomorrow we’ll look at Mark 1:29-45.
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