A Commitment Whose Benefits Far Outweigh its Cost (Mark 1:16-20)

fishers of people

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Mark 1:16-20

Commitment is waning in our society. Sociologist Peter Berger once said, “The modern mind is distinguished by this: to the modern person, our needs and our own fulfillment is more real to us than any other obligation.” Berger is saying that if it comes to choosing between fulfilling our own desires or fulfilling our commitment to another – say a child, parent, boss, our membership in a group, etc. – we have a greater tendency to choose fulfilling our own desires than we did several decades ago. Many sociologists say this trend has only gotten worse since Berger said this.

It might be the case that many people today are hesitant to make a commitment to Jesus Christ, because they fear such a commitment will interfere with their pursuits to fulfill their own interests and desires.

Jesus called his first disciples to make a radical commitment. They were fishermen going about their business, when Jesus said to them, “Come, follow me…and I will send you out to fish for people (Mark 1:17).” Though Mark briefly narrates this event, we can imagine how the situation may have panned out. Simon – who is later named Peter – goes to his wife and says: “Dear, I just met this religious man. He asked me to go with him on a business trip of indefinite length. I don’t know how long I’ll be gone or how often I’ll stop home. But I think I want to take him up on his offer.”

Why would Simon, Andrew, James, and John make this radical commitment? Why would they leave their businesses and families to follow Jesus?

Even in their few encounters with Jesus, they must have sensed something wonderful. They must have reckoned that the benefits outweighed the costs. Imagine you knew that a parcel of land contained millions of dollars of oil underneath it, unbeknown to the owner or anyone else. The parcel if for sale but its price is way below its worth. However, it will cost you everything you have to purchase that parcel of land. What are you to do? If your smart, you’ll sell everything and purchase that parcel of land.

The same can be said about our commitment to Jesus. Whatever the cost or sacrifice, it is worth it, because the value of the Kingdom of God far outweighs the costs.

Will you buy the parcel of land? Will you follow Jesus?

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