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Mark 1:17

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible
Verses 16-20

See the notes at Matthew 4:18-22.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
Jesus began to preach in Galilee, after that John was put in prison. If some be laid aside, others shall be raised up, to carry on the same work. Observe the great truths Christ preached. By repentance we give glory to our Creator whom we have offended; by faith we give glory to our Redeemer who came to save us from our sins. Christ has joined these two together, and let no man think to put them asunder. Christ puts honour upon those who, though mean in this world, are diligent in their business and kind to one another. Industry and unity are good and pleasant, and the Lord Jesus commands a blessing on them. Those whom Christ calls, must leave all to follow him; and by his grace he makes them willing to do so. Not that we must needs go out of the world, but we must sit loose to the world; forsake every thing that is against our duty to Christ, and that cannot be kept without hurt to our souls. Jesus strictly kept the sabbath day, by applying himself unto, and abounding in the sabbath work, in order to which the sabbath rest was appointed. There is much in the doctrine of Christ that is astonishing; and the more we hear it, the more cause we see to admire it.
Ellen G. White
The Desire of Ages, 249

Before asking them to leave their nets and fishing boats, Jesus had given them the assurance that God would supply their needs. The use of Peter's boat for the work of the gospel had been richly repaid. He who is “rich unto all that call upon Him,” has said, “Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over.” Romans 10:12; Luke 6:38. In this measure He had rewarded the disciple's service. And every sacrifice that is made in His ministry will be recompensed according to “the exceeding riches of His grace.” Ephesians 3:20; 2:7. DA 249.1

During that sad night on the lake, when they were separated from Christ, the disciples were pressed hard by unbelief, and weary with fruitless toil. But His presence kindled their faith, and brought them joy and success. So it is with us; apart from Christ, our work is fruitless, and it is easy to distrust and murmur. But when He is near, and we labor under His direction, we rejoice in the evidence of His power. It is Satan's work to discourage the soul; it is Christ's work to inspire with faith and hope. DA 249.2

The deeper lesson which the miracle conveyed for the disciples is a lesson for us also,—that He whose word could gather the fishes from the sea could also impress human hearts, and draw them by the cords of His love, so that His servants might become “fishers of men.” DA 249.3

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Ellen G. White
Education, 232

Christ discerned the possibilities in every human being. He was not turned aside by an unpromising exterior or by unfavorable surroundings. He called Matthew from the tollbooth, and Peter and his brethren from the fishing boat, to learn of Him. Ed 232.1

The same personal interest, the same attention to individual development, are needed in educational work today. Many apparently unpromising youth are richly endowed with talents that are put to no use. Their faculties lie hidden because of a lack of discernment on the part of their educators. In many a boy or girl outwardly as unattractive as a rough-hewn stone, may be found precious material that will stand the test of heat and storm and pressure. The true educator, keeping in view what his pupils may become, will recognize the value of the material upon which he is working. He will take a personal interest in each pupil and will seek to develop all his powers. However imperfect, every effort to conform to right principles will be encouraged. Ed 232.2

Every youth should be taught the necessity and the power of application. Upon this, far more than upon genius or talent, does success depend. Without application the most brilliant talents avail little, while with rightly directed effort persons of very ordinary natural abilities have accomplished wonders. And genius, at whose achievements we marvel, is almost invariably united with untiring, concentrated effort. Ed 232.3

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Ellen G. White
Gospel Workers 1915, 113

The Redeemer will not accept divided service. Daily the worker for God must learn the meaning of self-surrender. He must study the word of God, learning its meaning and obeying its precepts. Thus he may reach the standard of Christian excellence. Day by day God works with him, perfecting the character that is to stand in the time of final test. And day by day the believer is working out before men and angels a sublime experiment, showing what the gospel can do for fallen human beings. GW 113.1

When Christ called His disciples to follow Him, He offered them no flattering prospects in this life. He gave them no promise of gain or worldly honor, nor did they make any stipulation as to what they should receive. To Matthew as he sat at the receipt of custom, the Saviour said, “Follow Me. And he arose, and followed Him.” [Matthew 9:9.] Matthew did not, before rendering service, wait to demand a certain salary, equal to the amount received in his former occupation. Without question or hesitation he followed Jesus. It was enough for him that he was to be with the Saviour, that he might hear His words and unite with Him in His work. GW 113.2

So it was with the disciples previously called. When Jesus bade Peter and his companions follow Him, they immediately left their boats and nets. Some of these disciples had friends dependent on them for support; but when they received the Saviour's invitation, they did not hesitate, inquiring, How shall I live, and sustain my family? They were obedient to the call; and when afterward Jesus asked them, “What I sent you without purse, and scrip, and shoes, lacked ye anything?” they could answer, “Nothing.” [Luke 22:35.] GW 113.3

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 9, 174

In regard to the school I would say: Make it especially strong in the education of nurses and physicians. In medical missionary schools many workers are to be qualified with the ability of physicians to labor as medical missionary evangelists. This training, the Lord has specified, is in harmony with the principles underlying true higher education. We hear a great deal about the higher education. The highest education is to follow in the footsteps of Christ, patterning after the example He gave when He was in the world. We cannot gain an education higher than this, for this class of training will make men laborers together with God. 9T 174.1

To have the higher education is to have a living connection with Christ. The Saviour took the unlearned fishermen from their boats and their fishing nets and connected them with Himself as He traveled from place to place, teaching the people and ministering to their needs. Sitting down on a rock or on some elevated place, He would gather His disciples about Him and give them instruction, and, before long, hundreds of people would be listening to His words. There are many men and women who suppose that they know all that is worth knowing, when they greatly need to sit humbly at the feet of Jesus and learn of Him who gave His life that He might redeem a fallen world. We all need Christ—the One who left the royal courts, laying off His kingly robe and crown and His majesty in the heavens, and clothing Himself with humanity. The Son of God came as a little babe, that He might understand the experiences of humanity and know how to deal with them. He knows the wants of the children. In the days of His earthly ministry He would not allow them to be forbidden to come to Him. Send them not away, He said to His disciples, “for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” 9T 174.2

In the work of the school maintain simplicity. No argument is so powerful as is success founded on simplicity. You may attain success in the education of students as medical missionaries without a medical school that can qualify physicians to compete with the physicians of the world. Let the students be given a practical education. The less dependent you are upon worldly methods of education, the better it will be for the students. Special instruction should be given in the art of treating the sick without the use of poisonous drugs and in harmony with the light that God has given. In the treatment of the sick, poisonous drugs need not be used. Students should come forth from the school without having sacrificed the principles of health reform or their love for God and righteousness. 9T 175.1

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