On the surface, the way Mark wrote today’s gospel sounds so simple: Jesus walked up to two pairs of brothers, told them to follow Him, and they did just that with no guarantees other than the mysterious promise to make them “fishers of men”. What might have compelled these four hardworking fishermen to drop everything at a moment’s notice to follow a wandering preacher into the unknown? And what about Jesus? What did he see in them that qualified them to take on the most important task of being His disciples?
Something profound and powerful was at work at this seemingly causal encounter. When Jesus walked along the Sea of Galilee, he did not see a bunch of earthy men in the working class. He saw them for what God created them to be, not what the world and circumstances had made them. And so when he called out to Simon, Andrew, James and John, they immediately sensed the power and the grace of God within him. Deep in their hearts, they knew Jesus was someone who could be trusted; someone who, if he asked much, could give even more. Without reservation or hesitation, they readily allowed him to change them from the inside out so they may experience His greatness in their lives.
Jesus continues to walk along the shores of our lives, calling us to follow him so we may be transformed into what he intended us to be. As we have learned from today’s gospel, Jesus’ call is gracious and inviting, adventurous and unsettling. Are we ready to take on that first call, one that requires an edge-of-your seat faith, and be changed by his love?