I’ll show you how

As Jesus passed alongside the Galilee Sea, he saw two brothers, Simon and Andrew, throwing fishing nets into the sea, for they were fishermen. “Come, follow me,” he said, “and I’ll show you how to fish for people.”
— Mark 1:16-17

Fishing for people wasn’t a common phrase. There is no reason to assume that that these four knew what that meant. They say yes to life with Jesus “right way” which suggests that there wasn’t even time to consider whether it was literal, metaphorical, or straight up crazy-talk.

It kind of blows my mind. Simon, Andrew, James, and John were willing to follow Jesus into a form of work that was so vague—so not well defined.

Of course, there are other wow factors. They just up and left their boats short-handed? No going home first to pack a bag? Nobody said they would need to sleep on it?

This time with this text, I wonder about the work. I wonder why they did not protest on the grounds of inexperience or inability. I wonder why they agreed to go with Jesus in order to fish for people. Fishing was hard as it was.

They knew how to do what they were doing when Jesus appeared. They did not know how to do whatever was to come. I think that this moment is worthy of reflection.

Because by and large, we say yes to what we can wrap our heads around, right? We don’t usually sign on to a series of bridges that we can only cross (with help) once we get to them.

My yes comes after an opportunity has been explained – after surveying my current slate of responsibilities – after examining my feelings around adding another something.

The new era dawning evidently needed an alternative approach. The good news of God (the kingdom coming) needed folks who were willing to put their sense of competency on the back burner. Jesus didn’t say, I reviewed your resume and you are the right candidate. Jesus said, “I’ll show you how (v.17).”

Come with me. That’s the main thing. Regarding everything else, I’ll show you...

Jesus went looking for people for whom that assurance was enough. I suppose he is still looking for that—that spirit of I-may-not-know-how-but-I-can-learn.

They knew how to do what they were doing when Jesus appeared. They did not how to do the work that was ahead of them. What if this is more than a position to avoid? Maybe it’s the only place to hear “I’ll show you,” and thus to experience the grace, that infusion of life and love from our comes-alongside God.


Rachel May