Mark 1:14-20 The Calling of the First Disciples
*this was preached about the first night at camp: one of the two sermons that I liked*
I would read the passage before reading this; make your own assumptions before you read mine.
I don't know about you, but if I were fishing and someone came up to me and said to stop what I'm was doing and follow him, I wouldn't. To be honest. It would be crazy, leaving your job, and not knowing when you would come back. Especially if this person told you that you would fish people instead of the literal fish. He would be crazy.
That's what I thought. And I thought that the disciples were crazy. Why would they listen to Him? Well, I never knew the context, and that's where it all makes sense.
The children of that time period would go to a school where they would memorize the entire first five books of the old testament. It was sort of required, then when they got older, they memorized the entire old testament. They would know the whole thing like the back of their hand.
When they turned about sixteen, and it was time for them to get a job, they would turn to their father's trade. Whatever it was, whether it was fishing or farming, they would pick up that trade. But the really special, smart kids would find a priest that they really admired and desired to be like. They would ask them to accept them as a disciple, where the priest would teach them everything they knew.
The priest would then quiz the kid about the old testament, quoting verses, or explaining what it means. If the kid did good, the priest would accept them as a disciple, and the kid would leave with them to learn their ways.
Only the special and smart kids would get picked. The other ordinary kids would just work their father's trade.
This is why when a teacher like Jesus came to their village and asked the ordinary kids to follow him, they dropped their nets and left their father in the boat to follow Him. They, the regular kids that worked their father's trade, were being chosen to learn the ways of this great teacher. The father of James and John would have also been supportive of their choice. How great would it be to tell everyone that your child is a disciple of a teacher? They would run home and tell the whole family, who would celebrate with him. James and John had been chosen, where Jesus could have picked the smartest kid who could quote any verse from the old testament.
This made so much sense now that I knew the context. Before I thought that the disciples were a little crazy that they would follow Jesus without a second thought, whether the Holy Spirit was working in them or not. But now it makes sense that they would want to follow him. They had been picked.