As we read through the book of Mark, we find the moment in which Jesus calls His first disciples. Sometimes we believe that faith and reason cannot work together simply because faith is trust in things unseen, and reason depends on proof in order to accept ideas or things as reality. As Jesus calls His first disciples we find that John and James are called. This, in and of itself, is not unusual at all, for God calls us all to follow Him. What is unusual about it is the manner in which they followed Jesus:
And immediately He called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired servants and followed him. Mark 1:20
I love my father. Sometimes we work on projects around his house, but there is always that time in which I may not finish something before I move to the next thing. Whenever that happens he says, “Where do you think you are going?” I imagine Zebedee thinking or saying the same thing to his two sons. How on earth could any human being follow a random person who walks by and asks them to follow? I guess most of us would ask Him, “Why?” This is where faith and reason seem to be in conflict with each other in this story. Just by looking at the book of Mark up to this point, there is no apparent reason for the two young men to follow. Verse 19 however gives us a clue as to why they may have. On this verse it is stated that as Jesus comes by, John and James are fixing their nets. It is then possible that if they need to be fixed it is because they were torn at some point?
The book of Luke also talks about this event, however it adds a part of the story not present in Mark. If you read Luke 5:1-11, you will find one of the first miracles of Jesus. In this miracle he made it so that fishermen caught a great number of fish. It was so much so that their nets were breaking.
And when they had done this, they enclosed a large number of fish, and their nets were breaking. They signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink. Luke 5:6-7
By taking the context of Luke into account, when we read Mark we can see that John and James were not blindly following a man who called them to do so. They were following a man of great power. At this point their father was not questioning their motives, as we would do in our day, for he also had witnessed the power held by Jesus.
Faith to follow Jesus is not based on an empty belief. On the contrary, faith is trust in Someone who has proven Himself in the past, and therefore, we can believe in Him to help us in the future. If you are following Jesus, whenever something difficult comes into your life, simply look back and remember God’s works for you in the past. If you are still not following Him, you may want to put Him to the test. You may be surprised at how much He can do for you.