Friday, December 16, 2016

Jesus Calls His First Disciples

Mark 1:12-20

“And immediately the Spirit driveth him into the wilderness.  And he was there in the wilderness forty days, tempted of Satan; and was with the wild beasts; and the angels ministered unto him.” (Mark 1:12-13)

Immediately after his baptism, the Holy Spirit led Jesus into the desert for a time of testing and strengthening his faith.   Matthew 4:1-11 and Luke 4:1-13 give far greater detail about the time in the wilderness.  Mark confirms their accounts. 

“Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God,  And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.” (Mark 1:14-15)

Later, in Mark 6, the arrest and imprisonment of John the will be described, showing what Pappias meant when he said John the Apostle said Mark had gotten things out of order, writing about twenty five years after the fact.  Matthew 4:12-17 describes the same events and Jesus message on his return.  Once again, Mark confirms what Matthew had written twenty years before.    

“Now as he walked by the sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew his brother casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers.  And Jesus said unto them, Come ye after me, and I will make you to become fishers of men.  And straightway they forsook their nets, and followed him.  And when he had gone a little farther thence, he saw James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, who also were in the ship mending their nets.  And straightway he called them: and they left their father Zebedee in the ship with the hired servants, and went after him.” (Mark 1:16-20)

Matthew 4:18-22 gives a very similar account, while Luke 5:1-11 gives far more detail about the calling of these four apostles.  “And it came to pass, that, as the people pressed upon him to hear the word of God, he stood by the lake of Gennesaret, And saw two ships standing by the lake: but the fishermen were gone out of them, and were washing their nets.  And he entered into one of the ships, which was Simon's, and prayed him that he would thrust out a little from the land. And he sat down, and taught the people out of the ship.

 Now when he had left speaking, he said unto Simon, Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught.

And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net.

And when they had this done, they enclosed a great multitude of fishes: and their net brake.  And they beckoned unto their partners, which were in the other ship, that they should come and help them. And they came, and filled both the ships, so that they began to sink.

When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus' knees, saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord.  For he was astonished, and all that were with him, at the draught of the fishes which they had taken: And so was also James, and John, the sons of Zebedee, which were partners with Simon.

And Jesus said unto Simon, Fear not; from henceforth thou shalt catch men.  And when they had brought their ships to land, they forsook all, and followed him.”

After having heard John the Baptist’s testimony, as described in John 1:40-42 then seeing Jesus’ miracles as described by Luke, Peter, Andrew, James, and John had no hesitation about following Christ.  Theirs was not a blind, faith, they had reason to believe he was the Messiah.  They could commit wholly to him even though others would hesitate. 

Having either seen or heard about the miracle, Philip was prepared to follow Christ when he was called, and brought his brother Nathaniel, as described in John 1:43-51.  

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