John is arrested, but the narrator is mum on the details, at least for now.
With John out of the picture, Jesus returns to Galilee, the region of his hometown, and proclaims the good news about God. Yep, more good news.
Jesus picks up where John left off. Like John, he urges people to turn their lives around and believe in the good news. The headline is that "the time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near" (1:15).
A friendly ancient reader in our class might raise her hand here and ask, "Do you mean that a kingdom is coming that will rival the Roman empire?" Actually, everyone in our class is probably wondering to themselves, "When is this supposed to happen? How near is near?" Our answer: read on. Maybe Mark will tell us.
Jesus walks along the Sea of Galilee. Mark calls it a "sea," but it's really a lake.
Anyway, this is where Jesus sees Simon and his brother Andrew doing their job as fisherman, invites them to follow him, and promises them that they will fish for humans. We're hoping that's a metaphor.
Simon and Andrew drop everything and accept. This is irresponsible, without a doubt. After all, what would your elders say if you up and left school to follow some guy around? The event is probably there to provide a lesson about the nature of discipleship.
The same thing happens again, but this time it's James and his brother John who are mending their nets. They abandon their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired hands and follow Jesus instead.