Mark 1:16-20
Calling Out Disciples

Mark 1:16-20

How many in this room would call themselves followers of Jesus?

How many in this room would call themselves Christians?

How many in this room would call themselves Disciples?

All four Gospels and Acts include Jesus calling the first disciples and who they were. 

Mark 1:16-20

Matthew 4:18-22

Luke 5:4-11

John 1:29-2:2, John never names all the disciples in full.

Acts 1:13 names all the disciples except Judas Iscariot since he betrayed Jesus and killed himself.

The men at the heart of the verses we are looking at here in Mark…at the point of these verses already knew who Jesus was, heard of Him, seen Him and were following Jesus. 

The point of these verses in Mark is this…

  • These four men (Simon, Andrew, James, and John)
    • They are already followers, or “disciples” of Jesus, and now being called into action.
    • They now had to choose obedience to the Lord or to themselves.
    • They now had to choose Jesus above all.
  • This couldn’t have been easy because Jesus was setting out to shake things up.
    • Jesus was healing people on the Sabbath
    • Healing diseased people like lepers
    • Causing a ruckus and turning over money-changers tables in the temple
    • Casting out demons
    • Jesus wasn’t playing around.

So who did Jesus get to be followers, or disciples for Him?


Tax Collector

Zealot who supported anarchy, and plotted to overthrow Roman rule

Treasurer, dealt with money (and stole it)

So mostly fisherman and a few with less than desirable resumes.

Who did Jesus not call?

  • Jesus didn’t call the Pharisees, Sadducees, or the Scribes.
  • Jesus didn’t call those who were actively in schools or seminaries.
  • Jesus didn’t call those who were rich and could provide for His ideas.
  • Jesus didn’t call those who were perfect and had everything figured out.

Jesus called on those who would follow Him!

Three places in the NT that mention the word Christian and this is where we get our understanding of what it means to be a Christian:

  • Acts 11:19-26
  • 1 Peter 4:14, 16
  • Acts 26:28-29

Being a Christian is the same as being a disciple. There is no difference. When one professes faith in and receives Salvation through Jesus Christ they are at that moment disciples.

On the C.S. Lewis Institute website there is an article by Thomas A Tarrants from June 5, 2014 titled: ARE YOU A CHRISTIAN OR A DISCIPLE? IS THERE A DIFFERENCE? WHY IT MATTERS!

  • In this article “Noted New Testament scholar Michael Wilkins is quoted as saying, “a disciple is “one who has come to Jesus for eternal life, has claimed Jesus as Savior and God, and has embarked on the life of following Jesus.”

So the definition of a follower of Jesus is really a Disciple of Jesus, which is also a Christian!

Who here today would agree that we who profess to be Christians are to observe the command given us in Matthew 28:19-20?

How can one who is not a disciple of Jesus, go and make disciples for Jesus?

When Jesus called to Simon, Andrew, James, and John they responded immediately.

  • They left their boats, left their family and went walked with Jesus.
  • I wonder if there are some in this church who are being called?
  • Are you responding immediately?

How are we as Christians living today?

  • Just showing up to church constitutes being a Christian?
  • Better yet some don’t even go to church, the just claim the word Christian!
  • Remember that being a Christian is following Jesus, it’s being a disciple!
    • It’s living like Jesus and doing what He would do.
    • Is that you? Are you ready to give up everything and follow Jesus who gave up everything for you?
    • Are you ready to begin living out your Christianity and become true disciples of Jesus?

Cite from CS Lewis Website:

14. William L. Kynes, PhD, New Testament scholar, pastor, and currently moderator of the Evangelical Free Church of America, in private correspondence with author.