Sermon, Scripture & Exegesis

Sunday Scripture:

Mark 1:14-20

The Calling of the First Disciples

14After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. 15"The time has come," he said. "The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!"16As Jesus walked beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. 17"Come, follow me," Jesus said, "and I will make you fishers of men." 18At once they left their nets and followed him.19When he had gone a little farther, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John in a boat, preparing their nets.20Without delay he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men and followed him.

I Cor. 7:1-14


1Now for the matters you wrote about: It is good for a man not to marry.[1] 2But since there is so much immorality, each man should have his own wife, and each woman her own husband. 3The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. 4The wife's body does not belong to her alone but also to her husband. In the same way, the husband's body does not belong to him alone but also to his wife. 5Do not deprive each other except by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. 6I say this as a concession, not as a command. 7I wish that all men were as I am. But each man has his own gift from God; one has this gift, another has that.8Now to the unmarried and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I am. 9But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.10To the married I give this command (not I, but the Lord): A wife must not separate from her husband. 11But if she does, she must remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband. And a husband must not divorce his wife.12To the rest I say this (I, not the Lord): If any brother has a wife who is not a believer and she is willing to live with him, he must not divorce her. 13And if a woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is willing to live with her, she must not divorce him. 14For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy.


The commencement of Jesus’s public ministry in Galilee is announced in connection with the arrest of John the Baptizer. The same Greek word (paradidōmi, “hand over”) for John’s arrest (NIV “put in prison”) will later be used for the handing over of the Son of Man (9:31; 10:33) and of Christian disciples (13:9, 11–12). This signifies that Jesus will proclaim the gospel, as it was proclaimed by John, in the face of adversity and suffering. “Good news” is thus costly news. The long-awaited eschatological era and the kingdom of God are fulfilled in Jesus’s person and ministry; God’s kingdom is not something the pious evoke from God but is the reign that God introduces in Jesus, and into which people enter by repentance and faith. Repentance (the Greek word means to change one’s thinking) and faith (the Greek connotes trust) are active responses to the kingdom of God as proclaimed by Jesus.

The call of the first four disciples—Peter, Andrew, James, and John—occurs on the northwest shore of the Sea of Galilee (1:16–20). The sea is a picturesque lake seven miles wide and thirteen miles long that is surrounded by hills and that lies seven hundred feet below sea level. Unlike other rabbis, who called students to learn torah, Jesus entered into the world of the disciples and called them to himself. What they need to know they will learn as they follow him. In order to become “fishers of men”—that is, to participate in the mission of spreading the kingdom of God—the fishermen must leave their nets and even families and follow Jesus. Each fisherman must respond personally to the call of Jesus, but in so doing he enters into a new fellowship of others who also hear and obey the summons of Christ.