St. Mark 1:14-28

Nov. 30, 2021

14Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God,

15And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.

16Now as he walked by the sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew his brother casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers.

17And Jesus said unto them, Come ye after me, and I will make you to become fishers of men.

18And straightway they forsook their nets, and followed him.

19And when he had gone a little further thence, he saw James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, who also were in the ship mending their nets.

20And straightway he called them: and they left their father Zebedee in the ship with the hired servants, and went after him.

21And they went into Capernaum; and straightway on the sabbath day he entered into the synagogue, and taught.

22And they were astonished at his doctrine: for he taught them as one that had authority, and not as the scribes.

23And there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit; and he cried out,

24Saying, Let us alone; what have we to do with thee, thou Jesus of Nazareth? art thou come to destroy us? I know thee who thou art, the Holy One of God.

25And Jesus rebuked him, saying, Hold thy peace, and come out of him.

26And when the unclean spirit had torn him, and cried with a loud voice, he came out of him.

27And they were all amazed, insomuch that they questioned among themselves, saying, What thing is this? what new doctrine is this? for with authority commandeth he even the unclean spirits, and they do obey him.

28And immediately his fame spread abroad throughout all the region round about Galilee.

Once, when I was reading an article, I got brought up short, as they say, when the author wrote about the miracle of the calling of the twelve. I sat and thought about it – what miracle? They weren’t healed. They weren’t exorcised. What miracle? And then it occurred to me; Jesus said ‘come’ and these twelve men walked away from everything they knew, from their families, from their jobs, from their neighborhoods. Because Jesus said ‘follow me’. Jesus still says ‘follow me’ but we barely change our hearts, let alone the kind of changes the disciples made.

Two thousand years and Church Fathers and Doctors of the Faith later, we know Jesus. Two thousand years ago, the twelve men were drawn to someone, something, never seen before. One minute they were in their daily routines and at a simple invitation to follow – they walked away from everything they knew and understood and began a journey of epic proportion. Maybe I should say ‘of Biblical proportion’, but you get the idea. I can’t help but wonder what kind of seismic event must have happened in their minds and hearts that they would cease what they were doing and follow this stranger.

Did they wonder what all this ‘fishers of men’ stuff meant? What was their reaction when Jesus called the unclean spirit out of the man in the synagogue? Were they frightened? Who is this guy that casts out demons?

That author I read was absolutely correct. The calling of the twelve was a miracle.

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