Text: Mark 1: 14 – 20
It is amazing to read how Jesus called His first disciples. Instead of calling those who “did not have a job”, He decided to call those who already had a job. If Jesus had met the first disciples at a different place, we could think that maybe he did not know that these people already had jobs (although this would not be true because being God the Son, He knows everything). Simon and his brother Andrew were called when they were casting their nets into the lake (verse 16). James and his brother John were called while preparing their nets in a boat. Both pairs of brothers were called from “their offices” to another office. (Does this have anything to do with the belief that it is easier to find another job when you one?)
The Zebedee brothers actually left their father with hired men. These brothers were most likely heirs to the business of their father. Business must have been good for Zebedee. The fact that Zebedee could afford to hire men is proof of this. Could Jesus have made a mistake and called the wrong pair instead of calling the hired men? Your guess is as good as mine. He did not make a mistake. As God the Son, He makes no mistakes. He called the pair that was “on His list”. James and John were the labourers he wanted. Just as their father had chosen who to hire, Jesus too chose who to call.
The responses of those called are amazing too. When Simon and Andrew are called to be fishers of men (I guess a profession not known or familiar to them) they did not ask questions. They left their nets at once and followed Jesus (verse 18). The Zebedee brothers too left without questions. Neither did their father ask questions. Imagine yourself in the shoes of these people. How many questions could you have asked? (I guess you would have wanted to know things like: Where you would be stationed, the working hours and all other relevant conditions of service etc.)
We might want to ask why Jesus did not look for those who did not have jobs. One of the reasons that I see is that the business was urgent and serious (verse 15 – the time has come, the kingdom of God is near). As such, people who were already in the work mood were the best recruits at this time.
Have there been times when you felt that you are already doing something and yet God was asking you to do something new or additional to help someone in need? (And when you look around you see some people “loafing”). I guess there are some of us who feel like this, especially with the numerous problems that are facing us today such as poverty and HIV and AIDS. If you have felt this, what has your response been? Would reflecting on the responses of these first disciples change anything in our lives?
To think about: God, are you calling me to a new or additional task?