“Now after John was arrested, Jesus came to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news.” (Mark 1:14 – 15)
There are different stories of the calling of the disciples. The account that the gospel of Mark has does not go into the same detail as the account found in the gospel of John. I have to wonder, at this point in the story, what the disciples thought the “good news” would be. You see, all of the gospels are written after the fact, after Jesus was crucified and rose again, after the Holy Presence had come to them, and after Jesus was taken up to heaven. These accounts are retrospectives; and as wonderful as they are, they do not catch the thoughts and feelings of the disciples in the moment of their encounter with Jesus. I do not mean this is a fault or defect in the gospel accounts. Just that we do not have the sense of things as they happened, but as each writer remembers them happening.
“As Jesus passed along the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the sea–for they were fishermen. And Jesus said to them, “Follow me and I will make you fish for people.” And immediately they left their nets and followed him. As he went a little farther, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John, who were in their boat mending the nets. Immediately he called them; and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men, and followed him.” (Verses 16 – 20)
Would have followed Jesus, beloved reader, if you did not know he was Jesus the Messiah? I had said a while back that Jesus called men (and women) who he knew would believe and have a heart for his mission on earth. If Simon & Andrew, James & John had not been seen as men who would do well as Jesus’ followers, then Jesus would not have called them. As for Judas? Well, he too had a role to play in Jesus’ mission on earth, and was needed. Just as Peter (Simon) who blurted out some embarrassing & sometimes regrettable things was needed also. You and I, beloved reader, are needed as well. All of humanity is needed actually. But some come around later than others, and some resist.
What Jesus needed from the disciples/apostles was “boots on the ground” men and women who could be counted on for playing out their part. Jesus knows, beloved reader, who will respond to the “good news” that has been spoken to them. What good news, you ask. Would accept the answer. “Behold, in the city of David a Savior is born who will be called Christ the Lord.”? Actually, I do not think that was the good news that drew the disciples to Jesus. All apologies to Paul, I think it was the news that Yahweh had not forgotten them or abandoned them. As John the Baptist had preached, Yahweh was still reaching out to them and desired to be in relationship to them. That there was a way for the rift between the Jews and the Divine to be mended. It turned out that Jesus was that way; however, that realization was some ways down the missional road.
I prayer, beloved reader, that your ears are open to “good news” and that your heart is opening to accepting the Divine into your life. Shalom & Selah!