Whatever their circumstances, these men show their repentance, their desire "to turn," by dropping everything to heed Jesus' call. Their repentance is more than just a matter of an internal transformation; they turn into something that they are not now, from fishermen to fishers of men.
When the fisherman hooks a fish, it has fatal consequences for the fish; life cannot go on as before. This image fits the transforming power of God's rule that brings judgment and death to the old, yet promises a new creation (see Rom. 6:1-11). The disciples are called to be agents who will bring a compelling message to others that will change their lives beyond recognition. Jesus' call has the same effect on them.
The only explanation for the sudden response of disciples is that Mark wants to underscore the force or Jesus call. He alone propels them to follow him.^
Discipleship. THE K1NCDOM of God is something that only God creates; it is not something built by valiant human effort. But that fact does not mean that one needs only to sit by passively and to wait for God. God has already acted. The kingdom of God invading history in the ministry of Jesus requires submission in discipleship to him and demands all of one's heart, soul, mind, and strength (12:33)one's whole being. The calling of the first disciples shows that one must not only repent and believe the gospel (1:15) but must also be ready to leave and follow.
A second noteworthy element in the calling of disciples is that those who are drafted apparently have no special preparation. Jesus does not choose the most socially prominent, the best trained, or even the most religiously devout. His command, however, shatters that comfortable everyday world.
Disciples are not those who simply fill pews at ' worship, fill out pledge cards, attend an occasional Bible study, and offer to help out in the work of the church now and then. They are not merely eavesdroppers and onlookers. When one is hooked by Jesus, one's whole life and " purpose in life are transformed.
(1) To be a disciple means accepting Jesus' demands unconditionally. Jesus requires absolute obedience and sacrifice. Discipleship in Mark is not part-time volunteer work on one's own terms and convenience. One must be prepared to leave everything to follow him. S
The call to discipleship comes as an unreasonable, scandalous demand. It seems too risky, and for those who respond, too reckless. T
Few would make the radical commitment these first disciples made, and most would hope that Jesus might offer a less rigorous category of auxiliary discipleship, which would promise the same rewards while allowing one to continue the pursuit ot money ana success.
The problem with trying to balance friendship with the world and service to God is that one becomes religiously a split personality, looking both to God and to the world for standards and assurance. In t1
People take a big chance in putting their lives entirely in God's hands. It is the kind of risk that the rich man refused to take, and it disqualified him from discipleship and the eternal life he so coveted (10:17-22). Most humans spend their lives consumed with anxiety for their earthly destiny; but disciples look beyond this world to their eternal destiny, which, they are convinced, is best left in the hands of God.
But Jesus is not only able to deliver people from the bondage of unclean spirits and disease, he can deliver us from bondage to material concerns (such as the desire to preserve our standard of living at all costs). He gives us a vision that there is more to life than catching a string of fish. The center of life is to revolve around God. The authority of his call dispels our hesitancy and awakens total confidence in God. Disciples are the ones who throw caution to the winds. I
Discipleship in Mark is not about mastering theoretical ideas; it is about mission, a common mission with Jesus (6:7, 30).'
Busy ministers probably can easily identify with Jesus here. The demands of ministry and church members frequently interrupt study and prayer, and they are tempted to spring into action before preparing their hearts and minds successful because they can delude themselves into thinking that prayer and successful because they can delude themselves into thinking that prayer and study are dispensable extras in ministry. 1