Very quickly in chapter 1, Mark writes, “Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel’” (1:14-15). When he called his disciples to himself, he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you become fishers of men” (1:17). Jesus did many things and performed many miracles, but primarily he came to call sinners to the gospel, and that’s the commission he also gave to his disciples and to us. As illustration, to the crippled man set before Jesus by his friends, Jesus first declared to him, “Son, your sins are forgiven” (2:5). Jesus healed the man in order that those present would know that he had the authority to forgive sin (2:10,11).
The story of eating with the scribes and Pharisees shows Jesus’ concern for sinners. The parable of the sower and the soils, that a lamp is not made to be put under a basket, the parable of the mustard seed . . . all underscore the message that Jesus has come to bring the gospel and that we are to follow him in doing the same.
Jesus calls us o’er the tumult
of our life's wild, restless sea;
day by day his sweet voice soundeth,
saying “Christian, follow me.” -- Cecil Frances Alexander (1852)