Jesus Calls His DisciplesMark 1:14-20; Luke 5:1-11; John 1:25-51 “Come, be my disciples, and I will show you how to fish for people!” Mark 1:17
In the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) we read of the circumstances in which Jesus called His disciples. We see Jesus preaching by the seashore and selecting four of the fishermen to become His first disciples to learn under His guidance how to become “fishers of men.” (Matthew 4:19). They were to turn all the practical knowledge and skill they knew in fishing into the work of bringing people into God’s kingdom.
It is interesting to note Jesus’ call to some of His disciples. Simon and Andrew were virtually in the middle of their work, casting a net into the lake, perhaps thinking about drying the fish that had been caught or nets that needed repair. But as the net flew out over the water, they heard someone calling their names. It was Jesus. He called busy and successful people to follow Him. Mark 1:18 says “at once they left their nets and followed him. The One who called them was worthy of their eager obedience! Jesus called them to know Him, to make Him the core of their daily lives and to live as He lived.
Mark 3:13-19 gives the account of Jesus appointing the 12 disciples. Verse 14 tells why Jesus chose these men: “that they might be with him.” This is what Jesus wants from us today – to take the time to be in His presence.
Jesus called Peter and these other men to be preachers and teachers of God's Word. He wanted them to concentrate on bringing the saving Gospel to people so God could gather them into His kingdom. That would be their full-time calling for life. Throughout history, God has continued to call certain individuals (both men and women) to full time service to Him as pastors and teachers. God provides the call, the gifts, and the results of the work. What a joy and privilege it is for a person to serve in this way for an entire lifetime, telling others of Jesus, their Savior. Every believer should consider carefully whether God has called him or her to serve Him as a public teacher or preacher.
Exploring God’s Word Call of the Disciples Luke 5:1-11; 6:12-16
“Come, be my disciples, and I will show you how to fish for people!” Mark 1:17
Jesus often traveled from town to town, telling people God’s Word. He knew how important it was for people to know that He was their Savior, whom God the Father had sent. Jesus came to take away our sin.
Everywhere Jesus traveled, big crowds of people gathered to hear Him. In today’s story, Jesus was preaching beside a big lake. People were crowding closer and closer, trying to see and hear Jesus. It must have been hard to hear Jesus with so many people crowding around Him.
Some of Jesus’ disciples were fishermen. Simon Peter, Andrew, James, and John had their boats at the edge of the lake and were cleaning their nets. Jesus got into one boat and asked Simon to row Him a short way out into the lake.
Now everyone could sit down on the shore and see and hear Jesus easily. Jesus preached to them from the boat. He has always wanted everyone to know that He is God’s Son and their Savior.
When Jesus was finished preaching, He said to Simon, “Row out into the deep water and put your net into the water to catch fish.” Simon said, “Master, we have fished all night and haven’t caught anything, but I will obey Your word and let down the net.”
When Simon and Andrew put their nets into the water, they caught so many fish that their nets were breaking. They called to their friends in the other boat to help them. They filled both boats so full that their boats began to sink. Everyone was amazed to catch so many fish! Simon Peter realized that Jesus helped them catch so many fish because He is God. Simon also knew that he was a sinner and God doesn’t like sin. He said, “Go away from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.”
Jesus wanted Simon and the other disciples to know that He forgives our sin. He said, “Do not be afraid. Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.”
So Simon Peter, Andrew, James, and John left their boats and everything they had and followed Jesus.
On another day Jesus knew it was time to choose all 12 disciples. Jesus had many followers, but only 12 would be chosen to be Disciples. Since this was such an important decision, He prayed all night to His Heavenly Father.
In the morning, Jesus called all His disciples together. From them, He chose to be His disciples: Simon, whom He also named Peter, and Andrew his brother; James and John; Philip and Bartholomew; Matthew and Thomas; James, the son of Alphaeus, and Simon called the Zealot; Judas, the son of James; and Judas Iscariot who would later betray Him.
These men followed Jesus for several years, they heard His message and saw His miracles. They saw Jesus die on the cross and rise again. Jesus wanted them to go and tell others all about Jesus, the world’s Savior.
Dear Jesus, thank You so much for directing someone to tell me about You so I can know You as my Savior. Help me to tell other people about You. Help me to remember that You are always with me, helping me to tell others the good news about You. Amen.
Theme Verse: Mark 1:17 “Come, be my disciples, and I will show you how to fish for people!” Mark 1:17
Play It! Game 1: Disciples Tag
This is almost like a regular game of tag except that as the person who is “it” tags someone, they both continue tagging. As others are tagged, they also help tag others until all are tagged. No one is tagged “out” in this game.
Use this as an opportunity to talk about how we don’t just tell one person about Jesus. We are to continue sharing the good news of Jesus.
Play “Balloon Volleyball.” You’ll need a balloon for the game (a few extras in case one pops) Masking tape to create a net, on the floor
Divide students into two equal groups. Teams will sit on each side of the net, whole teams will play. Make sure smaller students are at the front of the playing area so they get “ball time”.
Repeat as many times as needed.
Fishermen Game Each team will need: 9 Ping-Pong balls Ice cream bucket to hold each team’s Ping-Pong balls Plastic spoon for each player
Set Up: Write one letter from the word FISHERMEN on each of the team's Ping-Pong balls (one letter per ball). Place the box of balls at one end of each team line.
How To Play: Before you begin, tell the players the game they're about to play is Fishermen". The object of the game is to pass the balls from the box to the end of the team lines, then assemble the balls to form a two word phrase (show one of the balls with a letter written on it).
Team lines stand shoulder to shoulder, approximately two feet apart. Team lines stand parallel to one another.
At the go, the first person in each team scoops a ball onto his or her spoon and passes it on to the next player in line. The next player receives the ball with his or her spoon and passes it on to the next player in line, who passes it to the next player, and the next, and so on until the ball reaches the end of the line. The last player in line lays the ball down on the floor next to his or her feet. As soon as the first ball is passed on to the second player in line, the first player in line may scoop up a second ball from the box and begin to pass it down the line to the end player. When all the balls are passed down the line, each team must try to assemble the letters to form the word written on the balls: FISHERMEN.
How To Win: The first team to arrange and proclaim the word, wins!
Gather children around you.
Close by saying: Thank you God for loving us every day. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.