Before the days of email, Ron was going to be overseas for some time to close a new business deal and check on investments. During that time he was going to leave the business he’d built in the hands of trusted employees. Ron promised to write regularly, giving instructions on how to run the business until he returned. Confident in the ready assent of his team, he left. As he’d promised, Ron sent regular letters – giving clear instructions. But when Ron returned, he was shocked to see weeds had taken over the landscaping, the building was in disrepair, and the employees were sitting around instead of working. He called a meeting and asked what had happened. Hadn’t they gotten his letters? “Oh, yes! We got all of your letters and read them carefully. We study them weekly and have even memorized some of them. They were wonderful letters– we’ve enjoyed all of them!” In Mark 1:14-20, the Lord Jesus clearly tells us four things He wants us to do. Will you be like Ron’s employees or will you be a faithful doer of God’s Word? Study this passage to see four simple things Christ wants you to do.
Ask the Lord to show you what He wants you to do as you study His Word and ask Him to give you the strength and boldness to do them.
Read Focus Verses
Read Mark 1:14-20 and notice especially the things Jesus says in these verses.
In order to better understand today's passage, read the verses leading up to it - Mark 1:1-13.
What has Mark recorded that has already happened before the account in today's passage?
According to verse 14, what happened just before today's story?
Where did Jesus go after John was put in prison?
What did Jesus do when He came into Galilee?
What was Jesus' message according to verse 15?
The Sea of Galilee
Where was Jesus walking the day the story in verses 16-20 happened?
Who did Jesus see as He was walking by the sea of Galilee according to verse 16?
What was Simon and Andrew's job?
What did Jesus say to them?
How did Simon and Andrew respond to Jesus' call?
Who else did Jesus see a little later on in verse 19?
What happens in verses 19-20?
Keywords - Jesus Christ
Marking the words referring to Jesus will help you see Him as the main character of these verses.
Mark the words naming or referring to Jesus in Mark 1:14-20.
Keywords - Commands
Jesus gives three commands in verses 15 and 17. Marking them will help you remember them.
Find the three action words that Jesus uses to tell us what He wants us to do - there are two in verse 15 and one in verse 17. The first is repent.
John the Baptist
The events in today's passage are linked to the time John the Baptist was put in prison. You can learn more about John the Baptist in the study plan for Mark 1:2-11 called "John the Baptist: Pointing to Jesus." Luke 3:19-20 tells us who put John in prison and why.
Who put John the Baptist in prison? Why?
This map shows Galilee and the Sea of Galilee - the region where the stories in today's passage take place. You can see a lot of the cities Jesus visited in the stories told in the Gospels on this map.Click To Visit Website
This map shows Galilee in relation to Judea - the other region where Jesus traveled, taught, and did miracles. You can see that Galilee (where Jesus was born) is north of Judea (where Jerusalem is).Click To Visit Website
In Matthew 4:15-22 we see that Jesus being in Galilee was in fulfillment of Old Testament prophesy. The rest of the passage tells the same story as today's passage.
John 1:35-42 fills us in, showing us that Andrew and Simon had already met Jesus.
We read a lot more detail about this second encounter when Jesus calls Simon and Andrew to be His followers in Luke 5:1-11.
Briefly tell the story of Simon, Andrew, James, and John with Jesus as if you were telling a child.
The first command Jesus gives in today's passage is to repent. Take a closer look at this important word.
Origin: from (3326) and (3539)
- to change one's mind, i.e. to repent
- to change one's mind for better, heartily to amend with abhorrence of one's past sins
Acts 26:19-20 shows us that true repentance changes a person's life.
In Acts 3:19-20 we see the result of true repentance.
What is biblical repentance and why is it important?
The second command Jesus gives us is believe. Take a closer look at the word He used.
Origin: from (4102)
- to think to be true, to be persuaded of, to credit, place confidence in
- of the thing believed
- to credit, have confidence
- in a moral or religious reference
- used in the NT of the conviction and trust to which a man is impelled by a certain inner and higher prerogative and law of soul
- to trust in Jesus or God as able to aid either in obtaining or in doing something: saving faith 1bc) mere acknowledgment of some fact or event: intellectual faith
- of the thing believed
- to entrust a thing to one, i.e. his fidelity
- to be intrusted with a thing
In what does Jesus tell us to believe?
You can learn more about the gospel in the study plan for Mark 1:1 called, "The Gospel of Jesus Christ." 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 summarizes the gospel we must believe.
Romans 6:23 tells us a little more.
Ephesians 2:8-10 tells us how this gift works.
Just like today's passage, John 3:16 talks about believing - but it shows us that believing the gospel equals believing in a person. Notice who that is.
What is the Gospel?
What is the result of believing the gospel?
Jesus used two words to tell them to come and follow Him. Look at the first.
Origin: from (1204) and an imperative form of eimi (to go)
- come hither, come here, come
- interjection, come!, come now!
Consider that word in combination with this one.
Origin: from the same as (3693) with enclitic of direction
- back, behind, after, afterwards
- of place: things that are behind
- of time: after
Come After Me
Jesus gives a similar call in Mark 8:34-37.
In Luke 14:27 we see that following after Jesus is a necessary part of being a Christian.
As He Walked
1 John 2:6 explains this to us.
Consider what Jesus says about it in John 13:15-17.
What does it mean to follow after Jesus and why is it important?
In verse 17 did you notice that Jesus says if they would come after Him He would do something? What would Jesus do if they would follow Him?
Fishers of Men
This video for children explains what the disciples might have understood when Jesus said "fishers of men."
Notice that Jesus isn't calling the disciples to do something He hasn't been doing. How do we know that from today's passage?
This call to share the gospel with people in the first chapter of Mark is repeated in the last chapter. It's one of the last things Jesus said to us while He was still on earth. Read what He says about it in Mark 16:15.
Matthew 28:18-20 tells us more of what Jesus said that day.
The Last Thing
In Acts 1:7-11 we learn that commanding His people to share the gospel was the very last thing Jesus did before He ascended to heaven.
Think about the command: What are Christians to do? Who are they to reach? Where are they to go? Why are they to do this?
Who helps Christians share the gospel according to these verses?
We see how the command began to be fulfilled in the book of Acts. Read about Philip's example in Acts 8:4-8.
Pick up the story again in Acts 8:26-40 and see how he told both whole cities and individual people about the Lord Jesus.
If we look at the last chapter of the Bible, Revelation 22:17, we'll see that the story of telling the world about salvation through Jesus Christ didn't end with the book of Acts - it's the story Christians are still living today.
Romans 10:13-17 shows us that Christians telling others about Jesus is the way God planned for people to hear about the gospel.
In 1 Peter 3:14-16, we see that Christians should be always ready to tell about their hope in Christ - even if they are being persecuted for their faith.
Why is it important that Christians tell others about Jesus?
In what way should Christians share the gospel according to 1 Peter 3:14-16?
Jesus teaches in Matthew 5:14-16 that Christians should have a clear testimony in more than just their words.
Philippians 2:14-16 also connects spoken and lived-out testimony.
Living the Gospel
How should Christians live, according to these verses, so that their life is part of their clear testimony?
Why does it matter how a Christian lives as long as they're telling people about Jesus?
Read today's passage, Mark 1:14-20, once more in light of what you've studied from the rest of God's Word.
In Your Words
In your words, what does Jesus tell you He wants you to do in these verses?
Consider for a minute: Why did Jesus give us these instructions in the order He chose - repent (turn away from your sin), believe (turn to Jesus Christ), follow (be with and like Him), fish (tell others about Him)?
Have you turned away from your sin - even ones you like - to turn to Jesus? Even if you've done that in the past, is there sin in your life that you need to turn from today?
Have you believed in Jesus Christ as the only One who can save you and give you eternal life? Do you believe that He died for your sins and rose again so that you can have forgiveness and live with God forever? Why?
If you've repented of your sin and believed in the Lord Jesus, have you surrendered everything to Him so you can follow Him? Are you willing to give up anything to do what He wants you to do? Is there something He's asking you to forsake today?
Are you telling other people about Jesus? What would you think about a fisher who never fished? How can you tell someone about Jesus this week? Will you commit to do it?
We hope this study has helped you understand the four things Jesus wants you to do - repent, believe, follow, fish - and has challenged you to do them today.
Please take a brief moment to provide us some feedback on this lesson. We're always striving to improve, and, with your help, we will.Click To Visit Website
Support our Ministry
Please join us in our quest to help the world discover the beauty of the Bible. Consider making a generous donation today.Click To Visit Website