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Now after John was arrested, Jesus came to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news.”

As Jesus passed along the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the sea—for they were fishermen. And Jesus said to them, “Follow me and I will make you fish for people.” And immediately they left their nets and followed him. As he went a little farther, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John, who were in their boat mending the nets. Immediately he called them; and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men, and followed him.”

 – Mark 1:14-20

When Jesus began his ministry, he declared that the work God began at creation was finally being fulfilled.  God’s kingdom had drawn near and all that had gone wrong would soon be made right.  Through Jesus, God was doing a new thing.  Jesus quickly shared this good news with a group of people who became his first disciples.  Jesus’ invitation to these people was simple: “follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.”  In short, walk with me and do what I do, and together, we will partner with God to build his kingdom on earth as it is in heaven.

As the 21st century followers of Jesus, that is still our job.  We have been invited to model the ways of Jesus in our own lives.  Doing what Jesus did, we continue to build God’s kingdom in a world that desperately needs it.  However, if we are to be successful, we must first leave behind our old ways of doing things.  If we are following Jesus, we must turn from the things that get in the way.

The first group of people to follow Jesus were fishermen.  When they decided to follow Jesus, they literally left their nets, boats, and families.  What do you need to leave behind today to better follow Jesus?  You have been offered an incredible invitation: walk with Jesus and build God’s kingdom.  May we turn from the kingdoms of the world and the things we try to build for ourselves and embrace the greater calling that comes when we follow Jesus.