Shaped from the Beginning
As Jesus walked beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.”
- Mark 1:16-17
Today’s passage finds Simon and Andrew hard at work in their fishing business. Their day is interrupted by Jesus’ call: “Come, follow me.” And this call changes their lives.
Simon and Andrew had grown up in a Jewish home, hearing the Hebrew Scriptures, and receiving a religious education. While we can’t be entirely sure what the religious education looked like at the time, we do know that a generation later a system was in place to pair promising young men with local rabbis for training (see Velvet Elvis by Rob Bell). The brightest and the best went on to be disciples of a rabbi; the rest went on to be fishermen (ie. to work in the family business).
In ancient rabbinic culture, disciples would initiate contact with the rabbis. They would just start following the rabbis around. They would ask to be mentored. All of the impetus for the relationship was on the person who wanted to be trained.
But Jesus flips the script. He calls uneducated fishermen. He initiates the relationship. And that changes how the whole thing would work.
Simon and Andrew know they weren’t “deserving” and that they didn’t earn the opportunity to be trained by Jesus. And because they didn’t initiate the connection, they weren’t in it as consumers, ready to buzz away if a bigger or better thing came along.
Reflect back on your beginning moments of your relationship with Jesus. What were some key features of those moments? What impact do those features have on your ongoing relationship with Jesus?