|Father Perry D. Leiker|
The call of the first disciples is known by most all of us and pretty much taken at face value.
Jesus sees them, invites them to follow, and they get up and go.
But if you stop to think about it, there is something quite mysterious about the account, if not weird. At least from the text itself, there is no evidence that they knew each other before this moment, or that they had ever had any contact or conversation before.
Jesus saw Simon and Andrew (they were brothers) and he said to them: “Come after me and I will make you fishers of men.”
They abandoned their nets and followed him.
A little farther along he called two more brothers (James and John) as he passed by them; they abandoned their father and the boats and followed Jesus, too. No questions were asked. Jesus gave no explanation or information. They all walked away from their work, their families, their routines. Why? What happened that was so compelling that they simply followed without a moment of hesitation? Did Jesus have some mysterious power to command an utterly total response on the part of these brothers?
From the first moment that Jesus began his public ministry, it seems he had an overwhelming effect on people. They said: “Where does he get this authority? No one has ever spoken like this.”
The evangelist Mark presents a Jesus to us that has power over demons, over nature, over human illness.
Does his power reach into us? Does his word have authority and leave us spellbound? Do we find that when he calls we always wish to follow?
Father Perry D. Leiker is pastor of St. Bernard Church. Reach him at (323) 255-6142, Ext. 112, or email email@example.com.