Mark 1:12-18 “And immediately the Spirit driveth him into the wilderness. And he was there in the wilderness forty days, tempted of Satan; and was with the wild beasts; and the angels ministered unto him. Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel. Now 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. And Jesus said unto them, Come ye after me, and I will make you to become fishers of men. And straightway they forsook their nets, and followed him.”
Text Mark 16:20 “And they went forth, and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.”
In the opening of the book that bears his name, Mark records for us the account of Simon and Andrew getting started in their earthly ministry! At the conclusion of the book, Mark declares the success of Simon and Andrew’s ministry. While there are numerous components that go into a successful ministry, one that is of necessity is; you must start right in order to finish right. There are four things to be noted about getting started. The first thing to be noted is their position, “Come ye after me.” When you study the phrase, Jesus is telling Simon and Andrew to assume a position after, to the back, or get behind Him. This not only gives clarity to one’s location, but one’s leadership. If one is going to be successful in the ministry they must assume a subordinate position with Christ in charge of everything!
We also note their potential, “I will make you to become.” Whatever it is that they need to be or do; it does not lie within their natural ability. The certainty of success lies outside of them. Jesus promised a transformation; “I will make.” The word “make” means to make or endow a person with a certain quality. Any potential that they have is in the fact that He has taken the initiative to endow them with sufficient ability for the task ahead. Jesus said, “for without me ye can do nothing” (John 15:5).
We notice their prospects, “fishers of men.” In the right position, with sufficient potential, they have the prospects of becoming “fishers of men.” The Greek word that Jesus used for “men” is a very special word, meaning human being, a man, the sinful, those whose conduct is opposed to God. Paul said, “This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief” (I Timothy 1:15). Speaking to the self-righteous Pharisees, Jesus said, “I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance” (Mark 2:17). Simon and Andrew can be used to help draw sinners into the kingdom of God.
Lastly, we note their participation, “and followed him.” Their participation is marked by suddenness, “straightway.” There was no delay in their commitment; it was immediate and without delay. Their participation is marked by sacrifice, “forsook their nets.” No man can serve two masters, and they had chosen to forsake all and follow Christ.
Simon and Andrew knew the secret to getting started with respect to one’s position, potential, prospects, and participation! If you don’t start right you have no chance of finishing right!