Nathaniel's heart had been prepared beforehand for this moment, perhaps under the Fig Tree. It seems to have been a very traditional, orthodox town in which priests later considered ritually clean enough to live. Jesus called the disciples from their boats after John was arrested, so they had already been following Jesus for some time (Matt. Unless otherwise noted, the Scripture quotations contained herein are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible, Copyright © 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A., and are used by permission. True Loyalty and Faithfulness are Gifts Wrapped in Love, Finding Hope in Difficult Times - It is Always Just the Beginning. LUKE 5:1-11. The people acknowledged that John the Baptist was a prophet. This edition is a one-volume hardcover version. 18: 18), also (Micah 5: 2; Isa. For a teacher to recommend his disciples to another teacher was rare, and expressed confidence in the other teacher's superiority. Fishing was a major industry in Galilee, with a connected sub-industry of fish salting. Business, education, law, service industries, medicine, government--wherever you work, in whatever capacity, the Scriptures have something to say about it. The Twelve disciples’ importance may have been dwindling because of their deaths, because of changing leadership patterns in the church, or simply because traditions about the lesser-known ones had been lost. 41He first found his own brother Simon and said to him, "We have found the Messiah" (which means Christ). Twice it refers to God’s call. Please note that all fields followed by an asterisk must be filled in. At least three of the disciples were present on the Mount of  Transfiguration, and witnessed Jesus, Moses, and Alijah, in the Glory of Heaven. 16 As Jesus passed along the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake—for they were fishermen. It would have been disastrous for the multitude to crown him “king,” (as many were eager to do). Theology of Work Project Online Materials by Theology of Work Project, Inc. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License. Nathanael was "An Israelite indeed," a faithful Israelite, who wrestled with God, (unlike the hypocrites on the street corner), (Gen. 32:24). 39He said to them, "Come and you will see." 2 He saw at the water’s edge two boats, left there by the fishermen, who were washing their nets. And under this general head consider: The Theology of Work Bible Commentary is an in-depth Bible study tool put together by a group of biblical scholars, pastors, and workplace Christians to help you discover what the whole Bible--from Genesis to Revelation--says about work. It appears in Matthew 4:18–22, Mark 3:16-20 and Luke 5:1–11 on the Sea of Galilee. Therefore, Andrew the brother of Simon Peter, and the other disciple believed to be John, the author of this Gospel, who had been followers of John the Baptist, would become the first disciples of Jesus. Their summons to a distinctive kind of service, and to the forsaking of their current employment, does not establish a universal pattern for Christian life and vocation. Nazareth doesn't appear to have been any more sinful than other areas. While Matthew and Mark records the calling of the first four apostles, only Luke tells us the events that lead up to the calling. Submit your prayer requests and have other Spirit Filled Christians pray for you. The call of the disciples is rooted in the call of Jesus, and this call is to change their lives for ever. John and Andrew were the initial two people called to be disciples by Christ (John 1:35 - 39). The most extensive account appears in Luke 5:1–11. Every resource on our site was made possible through the financial support of people like you. The man who introduced me to A.B. However, at this point they would not have understood their great commission, (Matt 20:19-20); so Jesus does not provide the details, just says, "Come and you will see.". Nathaniel, meaning the gift of God, is another name for Bartholomew; however, John never uses the name Bartholomew, nor is it mentioned in the synopses. Verses 47-49: "Jesus saw Nathaniel coming toward him and said of him, "Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom there is no deceit!". A large crowd followed Jesus to hear his teachings as he walked along the shore of the Sea of Galilee, which is also known as Gennesaret or Chinnereth and Tiberias. All Rights Reserved. Used under license from Veer. Verse 51: "And he said to him, "Truly, truly, I say to you, you will see heaven opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.". The record shows us that Peter, Andrew, Philip, and Nathanial were following Jesus, and we can also assume that since James and John were business partners with Peter and Andrew, and also deeply spiritual men, they believed what Peter and Andrew said about Jesus. The call of the first disciples craft. And I will put my words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I command him," (Deut. Use the techniques of imaginative prayer to reflect on this passage. They loved, trusted, and followed him throughout the region, as he baptized, preached, and told them of the soon coming Messiah. Peter was the latter, (a piece of rock). John The Baptist's Disciples Follow Jesus, Verse 37: "The two disciples heard him say this, and they followed Jesus.". - Mark 1:16-20 Produced by TOW Project, Theology of Work Project Online Materials, 10 Key Points About Work in the Bible That Every Christian Should Know, Beyond Rank and Power: What Philemon Tells Us About Leadership, Chick-Fil-A: How faith in the workplace helps the world to flourish (Click to watch), Kingdom and Discipleship (Mark 1-4, 6, 8), The Beginning of the Gospel (Mark 1:1-13), The Calling of the First Disciples (Mark 1:16-20), Discipleship in Process (Mark 4:35-41; 6:45-52; 8:14-21), Rhythms of Work, Rest and Worship (Mark 1-4, 6, 13), The First Days of the Movement (Mark 1:21-45), Parables at Work (Mark 4:26-29 and 13:32-37), The Rich Young Man and Attitudes to Wealth and Status (Mark 10:17-31), Our Work Fulfills the Great Commandment (Mark 12:28-34), The Cross and Resurrection (Mark 14:32-16:8), Conclusions: Drawing Together Some Threads (Mark), Theology of Work Commentary Volume 4: Matthew through Acts, Theology of Work Bible Commentary - One Volume Edition, Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License. As Suzanne Watts Henderson notes in relation to the response of the disciples, the “piling up of particulars underscores the full weight of the verb [to leave]: not just nets are left behind, but a named father, a boat and indeed an entire enterprise.”[1] For these disciples to follow Jesus, they have to demonstrate a willingness to allow their identity, status, and worth to primarily be determined in relation to him. Although Jesus is speaking to Nathanael, the verbs are in the plural, meaning that He was also addressing the other disciples, and they did witness the scene above. 19 “Come, follow me,” ( D ) Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” 20 At once they left their nets and followed him. Below, please read it from the Book of Luke. I was a senior in college when I heard several recorded lectures by Dr. Hendricks on Christian discipleship which significantly impacted my life. 4:12-22). We know one of them was Andrew, but … As with this example, Jesus set with the very first disciples; we are to follow Him. Jesus was pleased with Nathaniel's faith and promised that he would see even bigger things. Moses prophesied the coming of the Messiah (Jesus): "I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brothers. Verses 40-42: "One of the two who heard John speak and followed Jesus was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. Then came Peter (also called Simon or Simon Peter, verses 40 - 42), followed by Philip (verses 43 to 44) and then Nathanael (Bartholomew - verse 45). For the place of fishing in the taxation structures, see Bruce Malina and Richard Rohrbaugh, A Social-Scientific Commentary on the Synoptic Gospels (Minneapolis: Fortress, 1992), 44-45. The title, "Son of man," was used at least forty times by Jesus, twelve times in this Gospel;  (Stephen also used it in Acts 7:56). In this morning’s Gospel reading we read of Jesus’ encounter with Peter and Andrew and James and John – and with his call for them to follow him. Acts 2:40-47 The First Community of Believers Acts 3:1-4:31 Healing the Lame Man Acts 5:1-11 Ananias and Sapphira Acts 6:1-7:50 Choosing of the Deacons and Stephen’s Death Acts 8:26-39 The Baptism of the Ethiopian Eunuch Acts 9:1-31 The Call of Saul Acts 9:32-42 Peter Raises Dorcas from Death Acts 10:1-48 Peter and Cornelius The call of the first disciples appears, naturally, early on in the ministry of Jesus. Why God Makes Us Wait, from St. Augustine’s homily on the first letter of John Saved by Sense-sational OT Solutions. The calling of the disciples is a key episode in the life of Jesus in the New Testament. The first five of the twelve disciples lived near the beautiful Sea of Galilee, (Picture) (not far from Capernaum). 78. If you like reading the Theology of Work Bible Commentary free online, you might enjoy it in print! Teachers often taught under trees for their shade, but Jesus, knowing which tree Nathaniel had sat under, is a demonstration of genuine supernatural knowledge. Jesus is now man’s link to Heaven. Teachers ordinarily trained disciples, who then went out and taught others. To prevent this from happening Jesus also used the title, 'Son of Man.'". (Andrew, John, Peter, Philip, Nathaniel), Verse 45: "Philip found Nathaniel and said to him, "We have found him of whom Moses in the Law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.". Image by Philip said to him, "Come and see.". [2] At a time of social turbulence in Galilee, these two related industries supported each other and remained steady. Jesus Calls the First Disciples. He would soon learn that there are no secrets from God. In Luke, Jesus gives them a remarkable preview miracle (Luke 5:1-11). You shall be called Cephas" (which means Peter.". Answers. Another reason the Twelve as a group may not have loomed so large at the end of the first century CE has to do with their role. Tucker Cordani on Jan 25, 2014 in Columnists, Featured, Learn & Live the Faith, Sunday Reflections Stop me if you’ve heard this one: A lawyer, a cop, and a journalist enter Blessed John XXIII Seminary together. Particularly in the Gospel of Mark, the beginning of the Ministry of Jesus and the call of the first disciples are inseparable. From what we know of them it would not be in keeping with their character to rudely abandon John the Baptist. This one-of-a-kind Bible resource answers that very question. Nevertheless, the way in which the demands of the kingdom cut across and override the usual principles of society are transferable and enlightening to our work. Their summons to a distinctive kind of service, and to the forsaking of their current employment, does not establish a universal pattern for … The name Cephas is equivalent to the Greek word Petros, rendered "Peter," (Petra) means a rock, (Petros), a piece of rock. Joseph was His  stepfather, God was His Father. Therefore, Philip, answering Nathaniel's objection, says, "come and see." Jesus Calls His First Disciples: Verses 35-37: "The next day again John was standing with two of his disciples, 36and he looked at Jesus as he walked by and said, "Behold, the Lamb of God!" At Sinai there were twelve tribes of the Hebrews; here there are twelve disciples. The first six disciples, then, were Peter, Andrew, James, John, Philip, and Bartholomew. Part 6 - Jesus Calls His First Disciples Series. He knew the trials, failures, and successes that would one day build Him into the mighty Apostle,  “Peter, a Piece of the Rock.”. Of the twelve disciples, only Philip and Andrew had Greek names, and they were the ones who took the Gospel to the Greeks. Consider Jesus’ call and the response of the disciples. Many, indeed most, of those who follow Jesus do not quit their jobs to do so (see Vocation Overview at www.theologyofwork.org). John the Baptist points out Jesus to two of his disciples … Nathaniel was from Cana in Galilee. The two disciples were Andrew and the Apostle John. So they came and saw where he was staying, and they stayed with him that day, for it was about the tenth hour.". The opening clause of Mark 1:16 presents Jesus as itinerant (“as he passed along”), and he calls these fishermen to follow him on the road. Loyalty and Faithfulness are emotionally and spiritually healthy. Bethsaida was on the northern edge of the Sea of Galilee. Their presence did not surprise Jesus; He knew they would be there. They had no extraordinary skills. In the Gospel of John, John the Baptist tips off the first disciples (John 1:35-37). Verse 49: "Nathanael answered him, "Rabbi, you are the Son of God! Verse 46: "Nathaniel said to him, "Can anything good come out of Nazareth?" Jesus did not ask, who, but what are you seeking?” It was Christ who had come to seek, (Luke 19:10). “As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.”, Hundreds of Pages with Christian Articles, Studies and Resources. So the first disciples … Jesus Calls Philip and Nathaniel: Verse 43: "The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. / With the help of Christ's marvelous faith building response and blessings, their faith will develop into an Abrahamic type of faith, with a powerful, expectant, inner knowing and assurance. “Sitting under the fig tree,” represented being in quietness, composed of spirit,  while in communion with God. The small infant’s hands that were later nailed to a rugged wooden cross are the hands that so often lovingly reach down and pick us up... God answers prayer. Jesus knew all about Nathaniel, even before the two had met, just as He does all of humanity:  "...He knew what was in man" (John 2:25:). Call of the First Disciples. The accounts of the calling of the first disciples in the Gospels of John and Luke make more sense to us because we typically want some rational explanation for their behavior. In John 1:35-51, we read the story of Jesus’ first disciples.The day after John the Baptist baptized Jesus, they crossed paths again and John declared, “Behold, the Lamb of God!” Then two of his disciples left to follow Jesus. Calling his disciples on a mountain is supposed to evoke Moses' experiences on Mt. Whether we leave our jobs or not, a disciple’s identity is no longer “fisherman,” “tax collector,” or anything else except “follower of Jesus.” This challenges us to resist the temptation to make our work the defining element of our sense of who we are. Suzanne Watts Henderson, Christology and Discipleship in the Gospel of Mark (Cambridge University Press, 2006), 63. Verse 48: "Nathanael said to him, "How do you know me?" The apostle John records who were the first five people called to follow Jesus. Based on a work at www.theologyofwork.org. 53: 1-12). He knew what they needed, and that someday they would become great Apostles who would evangelize the world. Jesus Calls His First Disciples 18 As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, ( B ) he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter ( C ) and his brother Andrew. “Once while Jesus was standing beside the lake of Gennesaret, and the crowd was pressing in on him to hear the word of God, he saw two boats there at the shore of the lake; the fishermen had gone out of them and were He translated it into Greek because, being outside Palestine, that was the language most of his Jewish readers spoke. You are the King of Israel!". They themselves were not hired men or day labourers, but rather were a part of what was probably a relatively successful family business. When we have hope, there is a song in our heart and a spring in our step. Who Were the 12 Disciples (Apostles) & What We Know about Them Jesus calls Simon and Andrew to be “fishers of people” (Mark 1:17), thereby affirming their former work as an image of the new role to which he is calling them. - Jesus was standing by the lake of Gennesaret; - He saw two boats without the fishermen; - He entered -Simon's boat/asked them to push it into the water; - He sat down/taught people from the boat; - He asked Simon to push the boat into the deep water/cast the nets for a catch; - Simon told Jesus that they had been fishing the whole night without success; Contributed by Bruce Shields on Jul 7, 2007. Sinai. * 16 j As he passed by the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting their nets into the sea; they were fishermen. The Call of the First Disciples. The first call is in the beginning: “God calls the worlds into being.” There’s Genesis 1 again. This is more than just a challenge to leave behind income and stability or, as we might put it, to get out of our “comfort zone.” Mark’s account of this incident records a detail lacking in the other accounts, namely, that James and John leave their father Zebedee “with the hired men” (Mark 1:20). In the Synoptics (Luke 1:36) we are told that Mary and Elizabeth were cousins, so Jesus and John the Baptist would have been cousins, but apparently were not acquainted. Bruce and his classic masterpiece, The Training of the Twelve, was Dr. Howard Hendricks, the late distinguished professor and lecturer at Dallas Theological Seminary. Jim Eliot, an American missionary who was killed on 8th January 1956 taking the Gospel to the Waodani people in Ecuador - once famously wrote in his diary on 28th October 1949: In the Synoptics (Luke 1:36) we are told that Mary and Elizabeth were cousins, so Jesus and John the Baptist would have been cousins, but apparently were not acquainted. Philip was right concerning Jesus, in that He was the One of whom Moses and the prophets had written; however,, Jesus was the Son of God, not the son of Joseph. JESUS CALLS THE FIRST DISCIPLES. Up to this point, the main events have been Jesus’ baptism (3:21-22), his temptation in the wilderness (4:1-13), his inaugural sermon and rejection at Nazareth (4:16-30), and a series of healings (4:31-41). The Jewish nation had waited for centuries for the promised Messiah. What does the Bible have to say about work? Contributors: Grant MacAskill Call of the 12 Disciples thoughts and meanderings One thing I find intriguing as you read about the 12 disciples callings (of which we really only get like 6 of their details) is how different they are. The Jewish day began at daylight, so that the tenth hour would have been around 4 pm. John relates the first, introductory meeting of Jesus with Andrew, John, Peter, Philip, and Nathanael. Jesus looked at him and said, "So you are Simon the son of John? The lawyer ends up leaving to resume his practice but the cop and the journalist get ordained. The Calling of the First Disciples (Mark 1:16-20) Bible Commentary / Produced by TOW Project. Bible Commentary Verses 35-37: "The next day again John was standing with two of his disciples, 36and he looked at Jesus as he walked by and said, "Behold, the Lamb of God!". 17 And Jesus said to them, ‘Follow me and I will make you fish for people.’ 18 And immediately they left their nets and followed him. These disciples were a part of the Master’s plan. Like Nathaniel, true Believers who take their faith and relationship with God seriously will find their faith increasing. Jesus knew Peter's weaknesses, as well as his potential. You will see greater things than these.". Notice - I. All were present when Christ ascended into Heaven, thereby confirming his mission and solidifying the faith of His disciples. Neither religious, nor refined, they were ordinary people, just like you and me. 16–17). Jesus Calls His First Disciples. Jesus does not reject the earthly vocation of these men but reorients it. Adopted by the Theology of Work Project Board October 6, 2011. or "There He is, I have identified him.". Read Matthew 4:18-25 (call of the disciples). 42He brought him to Jesus. Jesus answered him, "Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.". Many believe he sent them to Jesus. Andrew witnessing to Simon for Christ is a great example of how we are to testify; by introducing others to Christ. This is the opening act of Jesus’ ministry in Mark’s Gospel. All rights reserved. It was God’s plan for Jesus to replace John the Baptist as the central character, and a short time later John would say: "He must increase, but I must decrease," (John 3:30). Verse 44: "Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter.". The willingness of the disciples to forsake such stability is quite remarkable. Note Luke does not record the calling recorded in Mathew and Mark, but all three record John’s arrest having already occurred, and both Luke and Mark have the incident of healing Peter’s mother-in-law–and Mathew and Mark’s calling of the first disciples came before the healing, while this incident comes after the healing. Christ being very respectful and tender toward him, raises his hopes and expectations; and in the next verse says: Verses 50: "Jesus answered him, "Because I said to you, 'I saw you under the fig tree,' do you believe? They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. saw two brothers, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, Jesus had encountered Simon Peter and Andrew before, near Bethabara, in the Jordan region, where Andrew (and perhaps Peter as well) had become a disciple of John the Baptist ( John 1:35–42 ). Included in his lecture content were references to two books that had virtually shaped his life and worldwide ministry. All the New Testament Gospels preserve one memory or another of Jesus’ call of his first disciples. As with the Children of Israel in Jer 18:3-4, He would be the potter, Peter the clay. All four “immediately” leave nets and family to follow Jesus. Samuel L Mills PO Box 4456 Maryville, TN 37802. This section needs to be treated cautiously: while the disciples are paradigms of the Christian life, they also occupy a unique position in the story of salvation. Economic stability is no longer their chief purpose for working. Our God is the God of new beginnings; with Him, nothing is impossible. Now, amazed that Jesus knew all about him, in advance, Nathaniel declared that Jesus had to be the Messiah,  the Son of God, and King of Israel! (Heb 4:13). In the Call to Worship for this morning I referenced the UCC Statement of Faith several times. 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