After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!” As Jesus walked beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.” At once they left their nets and followed him. When he had gone a little farther, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John in a boat, preparing their nets. Without delay he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men and followed him.~ Mark 1:14-20
Jesus is a king who has a kingdom and he calls us to follow him as our leader. Now we are usually suspicious of people who claim to be great leaders, especially political leaders like kings. We wonder if they are gathering a following so they might use their power over us. We wonder if they want to use us and control us to get something from us. So, in general, we are cautious about following those who claim to be great leaders.
But that is not what happened in Galilee 2000 years ago. Jesus came proclaiming that he was a king, and he had a kingdom, and that all people should follow him. The amazing thing was men like Simon Peter, Andrew, James and John left everything to follow Jesus.
They were so willing to follow Jesus because he was a different kind of king who had a different kind of kingdom. Instead of taking from people, he gave great blessings to people. Instead of gathering a following to control, he gathered a following to set them free. He didn’t rule to take the lives of others. He came to give up his life to rescue people from sin and death. That is why the first disciples were willing to give up everything and follow Jesus.
Jesus’ kingdom is one of freedom and forgiveness. It is a kingdom of good news—the good news of eternal salvation!
Lord Jesus, I repent of all my sins. I ask you to wash them all away. Teach me to follow you as my King that I might bring glory to your name! Amen.