Year B – Epiphany 3 – Mark 1:14-20

“Now after John was arrested, Jesus came to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God, 15and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news.” 16As Jesus passed along the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the sea—for they were fishermen. 17And Jesus said to them, “Follow me and I will make you fish for people.” 18And immediately they left their nets and followed him. 19As he went a little farther, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John, who were in their boat mending the nets. 20Immediately he called them; and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men, and followed him.”

Summary – John the Baptist was arrested and would soon be put to death. While John’s ministry was soon over the ministry of the Gospel was far from it. After Jesus was rejected in His home town by His own neighbors, He departs to bring the gospel to Galilee. They (His neighbors) rejected Him because they thought they knew Him so well; they were too familiar with Him and with hardened hearts they refused to accept His being the Messiah. But Jesus had more work to do so He continues to the Sea of Galilee. The Lord seems to have chosen this area for several reasons: four or five of the twelve disciples lived there; it had a considerable and mixed population. Also at the times of the annual festivals large numbers of people would pass through it or be near it. He calls Simon and Andrew who were brothers along with James son of Zebedee and his brother John, all of whom were fishermen; He called them to be His Disciples and they left work and family to follow Him.

Insight – We are not Apostles, but Jesus still calls us to follow Him, just as He did these first disciples. Jesus reaches out to all kinds of people, just as He did then: fishermen, tax-collectors, and people just like us. Sometimes we are afraid to commit to follow Jesus more faithfully, because doubts arise. But imagine these men who left the work and families, even though had heard only a little about Jesus. Just as they learned, Jesus was God’s Savior of the world and we will not be disappointed (finally) for following Him.

Child’s Catechism –What did Jesus preach? Jesus preached the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news.

Discussion – How can we follow Jesus today? What kinds of things should we leave behind in following Him more closely?

Prayer – Dear Lord, we are eternally grateful for what You did on the Cross suffering with your whole body and shedding your innocent blood, dying in our place to pay for our sins that we might know You forever. Help us that we might follow You, being imitators, and living out your will in our “bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God.” Amen.

Contributed by Tom Miller, MA