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Marked By Jesus: Mark 1:16-20

When the Messiah appears, the world alters its season and axis rotation. Now the universe spins to see Him, feel Him, witness Him, hear Him in action. His time has come. And his disciples are ready for the adventure that awaits them. An adventure they are about to discover. The disciples will hear Jesus, be allured by Jesus, drawn to Jesus and compelled by Jesus to abandon their lives for His pathway. A pathway they were designed for all along. A pathway that leads them into destiny for this life and the life to come. It’s an eternal mission. An eternal ministry. The ministry of salvation for every soul who wants to be loved by the King of the universe. The Kingdom of God is here.

mark me again

I want you to touch me everyday

when you kiss me every way

the sun spins from night to day

mark me holy

mark me loved

mark me wholly

drenched in touches

from above

tucked

within your hands

I’m born again

The Marks of Jesus we will talk about in today’s study.

Verse 16: Identity

Verse 17: Invitation

Verse 18: Destiny

Verse 19: Consistency

Verse 20: Calling

Introduction

This week, we dive into the unfolding ministry of Jesus Christ as He calls His disciples. His standards are woven into the decrees of Heaven’s mandates to love God and know God. His chosen are holding everything they need to step into this destiny. Because of their identity as a human made in the image of God, their creator. Everyone carries the same potential to be wooed and chosen by God. But only some will respond and reciprocate the invitation. Mark hastily walks us through Jesus’ calling of the disciples holding fast to his pattern of immediate action and movement in his gospel. In these verses of 16-20, Mark points out 4 disciples who are called by Jesus to follow Him and acquiesce to the request: Simon (Peter), Andrew, James and John.

May we get to know the heart of Jesus deeper in this passage as we progress through the gospel of Mark, understanding the markings of our Messiah and the markings of a heart devoted to Him.

Verse 16: The Mark of Identity

“And as He walked by the Sea of Galilee, He saw Simon and Andrew his brother casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen.”

Mark 1:16

God marks your identity as His own Beloved. 

Jesus knows who you are… before you ever knew Him or saw Him. He marked you with His thumbprint and gave you your own, unique and specific to you.

He saw you. Found you. Understood you. Envisioned who you could become.

God designed you with the need for Him to fill your heart as the amplifying piece of your soul that advances you into greater. You need Jesus in order to truly excel and live out your purpose. Just as an electronic device needs a battery to operate. Just as a windmill needs wind to push it. You need God in order to complete your divine identity.

Verse 16 says, “He saw Simon and Andrew.” Jesus sees them for who they are right now also. Not just for who He wants them to be. It’s both. Jesus sees their full potential but He also sees their work ethic right now. Their day-to-day identity in their career right now.

Mark highlights “they were fishermen” in the verse. Mark does not say and they were ministers, even though they will soon become this as a result from following Jesus. Rather, he acknowledges the career field these men already worked in. He finds them while they are at work.

I’m reminded of Matthew 24:25-26 which says, “Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom the master has put in charge of his household, to give the others their food at the proper time? Blessed is that servant whose master finds him doing so when he returns.”

What are you doing now while you wait on God?

What you do matters to God. You career matters. Your skills matter. Your action matters. Your potential matters. And God knows how to find you in your job and use what you have been doing and learning to benefit His Kingdom.

Jesus wanted fishermen. Jesus wants you too, in the job you find yourself in. God uses people in their ordinary spheres of influence because that is where the miraculous happens. Why? Because you are positioned around people. And People are God’s number one priority.

God marks you as His cherished love. Empowers you to carry His name and power to save the world.

Who you are is the perfect asset to God’s Kingdom.

Who you are is a radiant gem shining the light of His love and goodness to a world looking for such hope. Keep being who you are for the glory of the Lord. You are holy and loved by Him.

 

Verse 17: The Mark of Invitation

“Then Jesus said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you become fishers of men.”

Mark 1:17

God beckons the heart of man to know Him.

Fishing… Jesus likes fishing. Fishing for people. Souls. Hearts. Faith. He finds the fishermen faithful followers every time he asks them to come and join Him. They do. It’s likely Jesus asked many others of various professions to follow Him also, but Mark purposefully highlights the fishermen in this passage.

Mark wants the reader to understand Jesus’ mission: to fish for people. That he might bring them into His Kingdom and out of the sea in which they swam in without Him.

Two different landscapes: the sea and the dry land. Heaven and Earth.

Jesus descended from Heaven and infiltrated Earth so that He might catch people on Earth and bring them into Heaven. This is a powerful and understandable metaphor for a 1st century reader to understand and the author, Mark, does a good job of focusing on this.

Salvation is in invitation. It’s not an automatic regeneration for the one who says no, but only for the one who says yes. There requires an empathic reply, like an RSVP to secure one’s place in the Kingdom of God. It’s a choice. A free choice.

This invitation does not necessitate anything other than a yes. Just a yes. Just a heart of love embracing the love of God in all its fullness.

Jesus says if you “follow Me” then I will “make you” fishers of men. Jesus does the work of making them into who He already sees they can be. It’s not up to them to work for this promotion or job title. Jesus is the sole trainer and affirmer. He marks you with His own blood that seeps into you making you perfect, indestructible, flawless, powerful and zealous for the Kingdom of God.

You want to invite others into the Kingdom of God when you have been marked by Jesus.

God knows how to make you into His radiant reflection. It shows His glory even more.

If you want God to make you into more and more beauty and wonder… follow Him. With everything you are. Choose Him to be first in your life. Let His invitation be the most desirable invitation of all… and never get over the passion of getting to say yes to Him.

 

Verse 18: The Mark of Destiny

“They immediately left their nets and followed Him.”

Mark 1:18

Jesus gives you the freedom to say yes to Him.

Do you want to?

This supplements the invitation we talked about in verse 17 where Jesus asks His people to follow Him.

Simon and Andrew say yes. They “leave their nets” behind. Again Mark uses the word “immediately” here to heighten the immediacy of responding to Jesus. These men leave everything behind immediately, literally while still on the clock.

Their nets were their livelihood. The means by which they caught fish and supported themselves. Their pay depended on it. Their future depended on it. It was their day-to-day business and career. But at the invitation to choose Jesus instead, they take it. Why? Jesus wooed them into something greater…

Jesus is so captivating you won’t want to wait until work is over to be with Him… you’ll want to be with Him all the time. ASAP. Immediately. Constantly.

These men wanted to follow Jesus.

The Greek word for “followed” means “ēkolouthēsan” in this passage. It’s a word we will see constantly in Mark’s gospel and other gospels as well because many decided to follow Jesus. The words means “to shadow, to accompany, to join, or to follow one who precedes.”

Before they tended to their own nets. Now they will tend to Jesus, the predecessor to the onset of the Kingdom of God. This requires much faith on their part to leave everything behind a business they are in charge of in order to now tend to Jesus and His mission. But it leads them into their own mission, of which Jesus will unleash for them in partnership with Him.

Jesus marks you with the destiny of love. And love compels you towards Him. Simon and Andrew walked towards Jesus and away from the job at hand. In turn, they discover an even better pathway becoming ministers for the Lord for the next 3 years and for the rest of their lives after His resurrection.

Jesus marks you with a divine destiny meant for you.

When destiny finds you… it compels you to leave everything behind.

These men don’t take hours or days to think about Jesus’ invitation. They decide on the spot. Destiny happens in the blink of an eye. And all the sudden, God carries you into the next dimension of where you are meant to be. Let Him carry you there. Your destiny unfolds from being willing to lose everything for Jesus.

“Whoever wants to save his own life will lose it, but those who lose their life for My sake will find it.” Matthew 16:25

It’s true… when you lose everything for Jesus you gain everything and then some. God’s Word is the truest word I’ve ever experienced. Let Him mark you.

You carry the mark of destiny on your life when you partner with God 100%.

I want to

say yes to You

when You

took me higher

in the rearview

I see where You

brought me tighter

to Your heart

and now I’m bound to You

from start to finish

 

Verse 19: The Mark of Consistency

“When He had gone a little farther from there, He saw James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, who also were in the boat mending their nets.”

Mark 1:19

God is consistent in His character and actions.

Jesus operates consistent in how he acts in every place he travels to. He sees Simon and Andrew in verse 16, and calls them to follow Him. Now He has travelled to another locale, “farther from there” Mark indicates, and He does the same thing… calls 2 more men to follow Him in verse 19.

Jesus calls people to follow Him everywhere He goes.

This invitation is a consistent invitation.

Always given to anyone He meets.

Jesus’ travels span the whole Israel region but His purpose remains the same. His heart remains the same. His movements remains the same. His actions remain the same. His ministry remains the same. And His sole mission is to beckon souls to Him.

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow.” Hebrews 13:8

Jesus serves with consistency.

God is God. In every place, time and season.

When you follow a consistent God, He makes you a consistent follower. This does not mean static or robotic in who you are. It means that in all the various aspects of your character, mind, uniqueness and heart… those parts of you remain engrained in you forever.

In this verse, it says that James and John were “mending their nets.” This is an important task in the fishing business of this era because they couldn’t go and buy new nets everytime the net broke. They had to mend it and this was a daily task sometimes. A task that required consistency of work ethic and time to make sure it was mended in time for the next catch. Jesus notices their consistency in their job. So he calls them to come and work for him.

God notices your consistency in what you do. Consistency builds ships. One day at a time. God asks you to be consistent just as He is. When you follow Jesus, you learn how to become more consistent in everything you do.

God is a multi-faceted God. With many emotions just like us. He even exists in 3 persons. But His multi-faceted nature is consistently present and active in how it functions.

God is reliable and trustworthy to remain the same God who wooed you and chose you.

God will never change His love for you. He will never change His destiny spoken over you. He will never change His mind about how He feels about you. He will never change His love for you. He will never change His plan for you. God’s words are true and consistent.

 

Verse 20: The Mark of Calling

“And immediately He called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired servants, and went after Him.”

Mark 1:20

Who calls you? Who has access to you talk to you that closely?

Jesus’ close proximity to you gives you access to His voice. God’s desire for you gives you access to communicate with Him anytime. Immediately. His voice on speed dial. His attention on alert.

God calls you because He shares intimate access with you.

Through relationship.

The Holy Spirit beckons you initially because Jesus wants to know you… and give you this relationship.

This is why Jesus calls James and John in Mark chapter 1.

Jesus calls you after He sees you.

He sees them, for all they are and all He created them to be. And He wants them to be in relationship with Him so  they can function according to their divine design and venture with Him where they have never gone before.

Elevate to higher love from union with Jesus.

“I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:14

Jesus is the prize… the treasure… the most beautiful of wonders… the most satisfying of pleasures.

His calling will reinvigorate your trajectory, and redirect your pathway to experience Heavenly ecstasy.

Go farther with supernatural power of God in you.

Saving souls from death… that’s Heavenly ecstasy. Unveiling a soul’s destiny for them to venture into… that’s Heavenly ecstasy. Spurring the potential in a heart that needs to know its strengths… that is Heavenly ecstasy. Ministry is Heavenly ecstasy. Because you activate souls to live. Eternal life.

Jesus marks you with a calling, where He names you His ambassador and mouthpiece to the ones who need His Spirit’s touch. Stay connected to Jesus so you can hear every word He wants you to hear from His heart to yours.

 

My Favorite Takeaway From the Passage

Jesus is better than everything…

“They left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired servants and went after Him.” Mark 1:20

My favorite part of this passage is the part where James and John chase after Jesus with passion. They act with such impromptu zeal, they leave their own father behind, fishing boat and all. And also the servants who waited on them. They didn’t need their father’s legacy. They wanted Jesus.

I can see the workers sitting in the boat watching James and John jump ship to go after a man they had never seen before… but then the boat starts to rock and the waves start to churn. They feel something… in the aura of this man wooing James and John to shore the Spirit awakens. Jesus is worth them giving up everything. Their father’s fishing business would continue without them. He had other workers to carry out the fishing tasks. Now James and John are no longer held captive to the destiny that their father had in mind for them. Now they are free to follow Jesus wherever He leads and however He says.

No one can tell you what your destiny is except for Jesus alone. Not your family, not your friends, not your culture, and not your job. Jesus tells you where to go… and your life elevates to higher thriving because of it.

I want to go where Jesus says go… all the days of my life.

I want to move when Jesus says move… all the days of my life.

So that I can experience the depths of passionate love with the One who knows I’ve chosen to make Him my everything. Jesus, You are my everything. Mark me with Your essence.

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