I must have read Mark 1:16 hundreds of times, but this week it just struck me how ridiculous it is! I mean the invitation to Simon, Andrew and the rest to become "fishers of men", to have a role in the mission of God. And that realisation has implications for all our mission.
Let me explain. This call makes no sense at all when you read it in context. In the first few verses of what Mark describes as "the beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ" we see the full reality and power of the Trinity. God the Son is found fully present on earth in the person of Jesus, the carpenter of Nazareth. The Spirit of God descends and takes full control of the situation driving Jesus first into the wilderness and then into ministry in Galilee. God the Father speaks - giving his full approval to this amazing expression of the Missio Dei, the outreaching of God in creation. The full relational life of the Trinity is powerfully described in these few verses and the focus of that God-life is made clear - the redemption of all creation, beginning with us.
So why is the call of Simon and his mates so ridiculous? Because it is so unnecessary, it adds nothing at all to the action. Son of God, empowered by the Spirit and approved by the Father needs no assistants! But the amazing thing is that He actually chooses to invite our participation.
If you really grasp the truth of that verse you will never again dare even to think you are doing God a favour by participation in His mission.