Biblical scholars note that today’s well-known gospel has been moved from its original place in the narrative. In the passage, the disciples (Simon, Andrew, James and John) leave everything to follow Jesus. However, in a few verses, we find Simon and Andrew at home (1:29). Jesus enters their house with James and John.
The tightly written Gospel of Mark is dense with theological meaning. For Mark, there is great importance to having the call of the disciples immediately after the imprisonment of John the Baptist followed by the proclamation of the Gospel of God by Jesus. Mark is inspired to write the gospel for an early Church that was suffering from persecution and seeking to secure its new-found identity.
The chronological events, as recorded here serve to remind the reader that God’s voice will not be silenced no matter the hardships or persecution may arise. John the Baptist is the first prophet after a time of prophetic silence since the time of Malachi (approximately 450 – 500 years). A period of silence does not return with the imprisonment of John. Jesus Christ is the profound revelation of the true voice of God as the only begotten Son of the Father.
Mark subtly underlines the inseparable link between God and Jesus which will be developed throughout the gospel. Today, we hear of the Gospel of God, that is, the good news known up to that moment in history. However, in the first verse of the gospel, Mark tells the reader that there is a new gospel, that is, the gospel about Jesus Christ [the Son of God]. A new gospel is possible because Jesus, as the Son of God, is the only one who could develop it by speaking profoundly and authoritatively about the Father. Hence, Mark emphasizes the words of Jesus first and before any miracles, even before expelling an unclean spirit (1:23), when he writes, “The people were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as one having authority and not as the scribes (1:22).”
The authority and power of the the voice of God, the words of Jesus, are passed on to his disciples who continually need to abandon everything without doubt or hesitation in order to follow him. Interestingly, (grammatically) it is only after the call and the following does a disciples become a subject in a sentence.