Gospel: Mark 1:14-28
Old Testament: Genesis 37:12-24
New Testament: 1 Corinthians 1:20-31
Psalms: 45, 47, 48
“Jesus called out to them, ‘Come follow me, and I will show you how to fish for people!’ And they left their nets at once and followed him.”
I don’t know about you, but I’ve never fished for people before. In fact, I’m not so keen on regular fishing either. Our family went on a fishing trip with the church once, and I still cringe at the memory. I got the lines all tangled up, and I’m terrified of fish. They’re okay when they’re in the water, or on a plate without skin, tails, and heads, but I’m not a fan of the in-between stuff. (Sorry Father Rob.)
This passage has always struck me as odd because it’s a really strange thing to say to someone. I could just imagine Jesus walking up and saying, “Let’s go catch some people.” Honestly, I’d probably look at Him like he was out of His mind, especially considering I don’t like fishing for fish, let alone people. So I have to give major props to Simon and Andrew here because up walks this stranger proclaiming that instead of fishing for trout they’re all going to catch people, and they just get up and follow him. It seems like a tiny gesture, but for Simon and Andrew, it was huge. They got up and left their entire lives behind them, their families, their jobs, their lifestyles. I’m no biblical scholar, but I think that fishermen back then probably made a fair amount of money; people had to eat. They left behind the safety and security of their daily lives to pursue a life with Jesus. That’s terrifying.
But that’s what Jesus wants us to do: get up and follow him. There’s stuff we have to leave behind, and frankly that scares us. We have to be brave. That’s something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately, what it means to be brave. Mark Twain says, “Courage is not the absence of fear, it is acting in spite of it.” In other words, God gets that we’re scared, but he still needs us to get up and follow him. The part about casting lines for people comes eventually, but first we have to be brave.