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Mark 1:17

ESV And Jesus said to them, "Follow me, and I will make you become fishers of men."
NIV "Come, follow me," Jesus said, "and I will send you out to fish for people."
NASB And Jesus said to them, 'Follow Me, and I will have you become fishers of people.'
CSB "Follow me," Jesus told them, "and I will make you fish for people."
NLT Jesus called out to them, 'Come, follow me, and I will show you how to fish for people!'
KJV And Jesus said unto them, Come ye after me, and I will make you to become fishers of men.
NKJV Then Jesus said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you become fishers of men.”

What does Mark 1:17 mean?

Luke 5:1–11 gives the full account of Jesus' call of Andrew, Simon Peter, James, and John. Jesus is teaching on the shores of Gennesaret, south of Capernaum, when the crowd becomes overwhelming. Simon Peter and the others are washing their nets, and Jesus asks him if he can use his boat as kind of a stage. Jesus sits in the boat and teaches for a while, but then tells Simon to go out farther into the lake to fish. Peter explains that they'd gone out the night before and found nothing, but Jesus insists. When Simon Peter lets down his nets, the catch is so great it threatens to swamp both his and James and John's boats. Simon Peter's response is to instantly worship Jesus.

Mark, being a man of action, only records the call issued by Jesus. The call to "follow me" is also used with Levi (Matthew) in Mark 2:14, to a crowd in Mark 8:34, and to the rich young ruler in Mark 10:21. It's also found in Matthew 11:28 when Jesus says, "Come to Me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." This is Jesus' call to us, as well. Not all will answer the call of Christ, yet those who do experience changed lives, including Peter, Andrew, and Matthew, along with James and John (Mark 1:19–20), who would all serve as part of the twelve apostles.

The apostles, as "fishers of men," grow to understand this. They fished with nets, which were dropped or thrown over the side of the boat. The net would collect a wide variety of creatures, not all of which were good for food. In a similar way, Jesus promises Andrew and Simon Peter that they would "catch" or reach many people with the good news of Jesus. Jesus expounds on this idea in the Parable of the Net (Matthew 13:47–50). The kingdom of heaven is like a net that catches many people, but some will not have a saving faith and will be rejected. Jesus calls Andrew and Simon Peter (and James and John) to sacrifice their lifestyle and their lives to change the world rather than run a business. In return, many, but not all, lives would be changed forever.
What is the Gospel?
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