Recorded on January 31st, 2021
We often get caught up in the cost of following Jesus. The fisherman that were called to follow Jesus weren’t just some weekend fisherman, hanging out and swapping tales. Fishing was their life. By leaving their lives, careers, and families, they took a massive risk, and made a massive sacrifice.
Transcript of Sermon:
We are continuing our journey into the book of mark we are still in mark one mark is one of the most action-packed gospels because it’s the shortest so you have to do a lot in a small amount of time and so as we are unpacking big little pieces or small chunks of scripture we’re going to spend more time in each little area so we are going to be in mark 1 14 through 20. you can follow along in the scripture on the screen after john was put in prison jesus went into galilee proclaiming the good news of god the time has come he said the kingdom of god has come near repent and believe the good news 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 at once they left their nets and followed him when they went a little further he saw james son of zebedee and his brother john in a boat preparing their nets without delay he called them and they left their father zebedee in the boat with the hired men and followed him this is the word of god for the people of god thanks be to god it is interesting to me this understanding of following in that scripture it was so clear how the disciples immediately followed jesus when i think back about my journey and my life with christ it was a much different story i didn’t grow up in a church home i didn’t grow up with parents who believed in god or maybe they believed in god but they didn’t really understand what that meant or lived that out and i remember hearing about jesus for the first time really through a tv show a christmas tv show every year it would come on and i would listen carefully and maybe some of you have heard me tell this story but a charlie brown christmas is a significant part in my story of salvation because as linus would come onto the stage and speak about luke 2 and what what it is that the angel said and what it is that who it is that jesus was and i would remember thinking that something was important that linus was saying that he was telling us something very important and i remember in my young age and as years would go on thinking i know something is important about this but i didn’t know what to do with it i didn’t know how to make that reality in my life and then as time went on and i found myself i dropped out of high school if you’ve heard part of my story and i finished through homeschool and then i was in a community college and i was leaving class one day and i remember this boy said to me well would you like to come to church with me and i was thinking i don’t want to go to church with you i want to go on a date with you that’s not really fair god if there is a god but i remember at that time i don’t remember what that person looked like i don’t remember that person’s name but i very definitely remember an invitation an invitation and then as i went to university i applied to so many universities all of them outside of california except for one and the one university that i applied to in california which is where i lived at the time happened just happened to be a christian school and i got into all the universities but this one happened to give me the biggest scholarship so i went there and when i showed up everyone around me happened to be christian now that doesn’t always happen in a christian school but the people that god put in my path they were christian and they lived these christian lives and it was there in that place that i finally began to understand what it meant to live a life with jesus i finally began to understand what linus was talking about what it meant to let this jesus person take up a place in your heart to become a part of who you are following jesus for a lot of people is not as quick and as seamless as it was for these fishermen and following jesus is so much more than that one time when we first let jesus into our hearts in fact if we really are to be the people that we’re called to be following jesus needs to be an every day occurrence for some of us for most of us for all of us it should be in every minute occurrence so we’re going to look at that today we’re going to look at the scripture we’re going to look at the way that these fishermen follow jesus and we’re going to examine what that should look like in our lives how we can take that and and process happen thousands of years ago into a life in today’s culture so when we look at the scripture in the mark of jesus calling the disciples to follow them i want you to think first of all i want you to paint the picture in your head it says that jesus was walking along the sea of galilee well first of all the sea of galilee wasn’t a sea it was a lake it was a fresh water lake that was about 13 miles long and about 8 miles wide so it looked big for a lake it looked like you couldn’t see one end or the other but it was fresh water it wasn’t salt water and it wasn’t something like the atlantic or the pacific or even the gulf of mexico it was a freshwater lake and on this freshwater lake people many people many men made their daily living because in this area in the mediterranean people ate not what we eat today their daily lives were filled with fish most meals they ate fish and so when we think about these men who were fishing they just they weren’t just hobbyists out for a sunday fish or a saturday fish or out there doing some sport fishing like we might do today no this was their career they were commercial fishermen today’s type of commercial fishermen this is what they did every day all day this is how they provided for their families but not just for their families this is how they provided for their communities there were more than 16 ports in this large area off the sea of galilee that took in fish where there were markets and then people would come to these markets and the fish wouldn’t just stay on the seashore it would go way inland because it wasn’t just the people close to the sea of galilee or the lake of galilee that ate fish it was all of the people in this time and area that ate fish and so these men weren’t just hobby fishermen these were men who were important these were men who made a good living doing what they were doing and i know that sometimes when preachers come up and talk about the fishermen that jesus called we like to play down who they were because we want them to feel relatable and they are still relatable we want them to feel like everyday kind of people and they are everyday kind of people but they weren’t just lackadaisical do sitting on the water doing nothing trying to find a fish or two here or there they were men who had lives they were men who had families they were men who were counted on by many to provide for their families and so the cost of what is about to happen is something that we don’t often consider it’s something that we don’t think about especially when the speed of mark’s gospel trucks along because mark just goes from one thing to another he picked up some disciples they said yes they go on to doing work but we don’t really sit and think about what that really looked like for these new disciples for james and john and matthew what did it look like for andrew to say to his family leaving i’m not going to be providing for you anymore in fact from what we can tell they didn’t even have these conversations be besides the zebedees who got to get some men to hire and help their father they simply left everything at the drop of a hat to follow jesus now let’s also think about their cultural perspective they don’t have the hindsight that you and i have they don’t know jesus like you and i know jesus you see you and i have the benefit of knowing that jesus is the messiah that jesus came that jesus worked miracles that jesus lived amongst the people for three years then he was killed on the cross that he died and was buried then he was resurrected see they don’t know any of this you and i read this scripture and we read it with the benefit of knowing everything about jesus everything that was written at least about jesus so it might not seem odd to us that they would say sure i’ll follow you but if we think about it in their context oh my goodness they probably had heard a little bit about jesus because of john the baptist and the work that john the baptist was doing so they might have just the smallest twinkle of an idea of who jesus might be or what jesus might be capable of but nothing not even a sliver of what we know they also have their 20 2020 perspective they know what it was like for their ancestors they are hebrew they’re israelites they grew up in the israelite religion they grew up knowing that god has been silent for over 400 years they grew up with their grandparents and their grandparents grandparents and their parents telling them that there’s one that’s going to come to make things better they have grown up waiting for a messiah they have grown up hoping and praying and expecting this one to come but they had no clue really no clue that that person was jesus when they started to follow him but something in their spirit something in their soul moved within them to tell them that this is what they needed to do you see and that’s the beauty of god it’s the same thing that stirred inside of me when i was watching a charlie brown christmas or when different people would come up to me and invite me to church or would invite me to come to their bible study for the first time there’s this thing inside of you that stirs it’s the holy spirit it’s the work of the holy spirit working preveniently we call it prevenient grace it’s the grace that goes before you it’s the grace that woos us woos us into a relationship with god that coaxes our mind and our bodies and our souls into a place where we are ready to receive where we are ready to follow and that’s what i believe is happening on the seashore because to me there is nothing else that makes any sense why would these men give up everything immediately without hesitation knowing that there’s so much that needs to be cared for still knowing that they will be missed knowing that they’re leaving a lot behind and follow jesus you see jesus doesn’t say hey we’re gonna go and start a school jesus doesn’t say hey we’re gonna go and do a whole bunch of miracles jesus doesn’t say hey we’re gonna go start a farm jesus doesn’t say anything other than follow me and i will make you fishers of men which honestly makes no sense does that make any sense to you if somebody said to me hey you want to be a fisher of men i’d say you are crazy what does that even mean a fissure of men and culturally it made no sense then either to be a fisher of men what does that mean jesus understood more about what was going to come jesus also understood more about the people he was calling to follow him but jesus didn’t enlighten them about either he simply asked them to follow so beyond the whole just following and saying yes i also say that today i think you and i would have had a lot of questions we would have said well sure mr man on the side of the sea that sounds interesting where are we going what are we going to do what are we going to eat when we get there where are we going to stop on the side of the road how are we going to take care of my family how is my family going to eat without me how is my business going to stay alive if i’m not here to lead my business how is my church gonna stay alive if i’m not there to be a part of my church i’m a trustee you know how is anything going to survive without me if i stop doing what i’m doing to follow you right now but they didn’t count the cost at all they didn’t ask any of these questions they just followed and today that seems almost impossible to us but the thing is the same invitation is being extended to us every single day for those of us who have yet to accept the first invitation the first hey jesus loves you god created you we are sinners in need of a savior if you haven’t accepted that truth in your life if you haven’t accepted christ into your life that invitation is being extended to you right now and it is a simple yes there are no strings attached it’s just a yes come inside come inside and live with me and the invitation is being extended to you and if you accept that invitation today i encourage you to let me know so that we can pray with you so that i can pray with you so that i can help you take the next steps into living into your calling as a child of god but for the rest who have already accepted that calling who have already said yes to god who have already accepted christ into our life you know the americanized version of christianity has not done us a lot of good when it comes to this part of the call you see we’ve focused so much in church on getting people to say that initial yes that we’ve forgotten to remind people that there’s so much more to it than that we want you to understand that saying yes to christ that accepting that grace it’s free that there is nothing required that once salvation happens salvation is yours that there’s no works required for it but in the process of that we’ve forgotten to remind you that there’s so much more available to you in life right now because the kingdom of god has come now as it is in heaven and we’re supposed to be following god now and following god now requires us requires us to make decisions like the disciples made on the seashore that day not just the one that says an initial yes but every day you and i as followers of christ are supposed to make new decisions that help us grow closer to the image of christ than we were yesterday every day we’re supposed to get up and make this world look better because we are better we are closer in image to christ than we were yesterday and i believe with everything that’s inside of me that one of the reasons why we live in such a broken world it’s not because of the evil that exists it’s because of all the christians that exist who aren’t following jesus every day who aren’t willing to leave behind things that seem impossible to leave behind to accept the new thing that jesus is inviting them to you see that initial yes is so easy it’s meant to be easy but the other ones are too if our faith could simply be enough you see every day jesus is calling us to live a life that shines a light in the darkness to live a life that is about others and not just about us to live a life that makes a difference in this world because we were created not just for our lives but we were created to be a part of the solution to be the hands and feet of god on this earth that is broken so that it may not be broken anymore but in order for us to play our part in order for us to do that work we must be willing to follow in all things and it’s hard because the things that we’re attached to in this world we’re attached to and in order to follow jesus sometimes we have to leave them behind and i think if i speak from my experience what i know i get caught up in is counting the cost of what i have to leave behind in order to follow where jesus is leading me to next we get caught up in counting the cost of following jesus instead of simply trusting that wherever it is that jesus is leading us everything else is accounted for that whatever it is that we’re leaving will be cared for that whatever it is that jesus is asking us to step away from is something that we’re supposed to step away from and that what we’re being led to is better perhaps for us or perhaps for the kingdom when we live life focused just on our life or the life of our nuclear family our kids and our parents we live this sheltered version of living which is what we see happening at least in america today and this is where the us and them starts to happen this is where division starts to happen because we start fighting for resources we start fighting each other for what is right and what is wrong instead of following the one and making that our only goal in life so these fishermen they gave up a lot they did it without asking questions and you know what happened because they did this they as individuals grew exponentially but then beyond that because of who they were and what they were willing to do in following jesus they became the forefathers of what we know as christianity they became the people who brought the news of jesus the good news of jesus across borders into lands into lives of people who desperately needed to know the good news if it weren’t for them being willing to say yes would you and i be here today and so the question we must ask ourselves is where does god find you today does he find you bored and restless trying to fill your life with things that are entertaining games and tv and endless news cycles does he find you successful leading a business leading a group of people leading an organization leading a family that’s fruitful where are you found today because regardless of where you’re found and how fruitful or unfruitful you are in this season there’s still a new call in front of you that god is calling you towards and the question we must ask ourselves is how long we’re going to wait to say yes and how many lives are lost in the process you and i were called to do big things on this earth we are called to live a life that is bigger than ourselves and i for one praise god for that because i would not be here today your pastor if it wasn’t for a man who created this show called charlie brown and put it on tv and if it wasn’t for the people who came into my life who invited me to bible studies who took me drove dhruv drove me to bible study the people who invited me to the orchard church for the first time who invited me to their bible studies there and then the pastor who baptized us each of those people participated in me being here today as you and i say yes to jesus we get to be those people in somebody else’s life and as we do that the world around us changes so the question is where has god found you today where is he asking you to go and how long are we going to wait to say yes those questions i found in chuck swindoll’s book they’ve sat with me and i encourage you with them today let us pray god we love you and we thank you so much for this life we thank you for calling us to do work that is bigger than ourselves we thank you for doing work in our lives but god the real question that we have today is that we need courage we need courage to do the work of leaving behind things that we’re attached to so that we can say yes to the things that we are called to help us lord to see you to see where we are to see where you’re calling us and to not delay and saying yes amen