called away from context

August 2015 (18)Mark 1:16-20

16 And while passing by Lake Galilee, Jesus saw Simon, and Andrew, the brother of Simon, casting a fishnet into the lake, because they were fishermen. 17 And Jesus said to them, Come after me, and I will make you able to become fishers of men.[1] 18 So, leaving the nets, they followed[2] him right then. 19 Also, after going on a little farther, he saw James the son of Zebedee, and John, his brother. They were also in the boat, mending the nets. 20 Just then, he called them; and after leaving their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired workers, they also went after him.

called away from context

There were large crowds of people who were legitimate disciples of Christ, besides these four.  Jesus did not call those crowds to the specialized ministry that he called these four to.  The larger group of followers would have their part in the kingdom, and the harvest.  But these four would need specialised training for the task they were being called into.  Because of the need for this specialised training, the four were not only called to Christ, they were called away from their normal context.  They knew how to be fishermen.  Some would insist that such people should remain fishermen, so that they can reach more fishermen and more lake people for Christ.  No, Jesus called them to abandon their normal context, and seek training for both a new task and a new environment.

Perhaps you have been a Christian for some time now, and you have always felt some kind of call away from your present context.  I have met many like that.  I usually encourage them to obey that call, and to seek specialised training in order to obey it.  Your local context, your family, your hometown – even your present church may not be the place you need to be in order to follow Christ in the next phase of your life and ministry.  You may have to leave Zebedee behind to follow Christ.  Doing that will not be easy, and it will not always be understood, or agreed to.  Do it.

LORD, if we are called away from our context, give us the courage to leave the boat, and follow the call, wherever it leads us.  If not, may we appreciate and encourage those who are.

[1] or, “I will turn you into fishers of men.”

[2] ακολουθεω (1:18; 2:14f; 3:7; 5:24; 6:1; 8:34; 9:38; 10:21, 28, 32, 52; 11:9; 14:13, 54; 15:41).

About Jefferson Vann

Jefferson Vann is a former Christian missionary and a candidate for pastoral ministry. You can contact him at -- !
This entry was posted in commitment, discipleship, ministry, missions, preparation and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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