The following is John 1:35-41, which seems to describe how Andrew and Simon became disciples of Jesus while John the Baptist was still free:
After we are introduced to Andrew and Simon, but before the imprisonment of John the Baptist, there are a number of verses in John's gospel which refer to "the disciples" of Jesus: John 2:2, John 2:12, John 2:17, John 3:22. The natural reading of John is that these disciples would have included Andrew and Simon. However, Mark 1:14-18 tells us that Andrew and Simon were only called later, after John's imprisonment:
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."
So, if Andrew and Simon became disciples earlier on, why did they have to become disciples again later?
But there's a third thing we need to consider, which is Luke's gospel. Luke's description (Luke 5:1-11) of the calling of Simon is clearly based on Mark, but a curious fact is that Simon is mentioned before this occurs. This is Luke 4:38:
From this, it seems that Simon already knew Jesus before he was called on his boat. This could bridge the gap between John and Mark a little bit. However, Luke's order of events differs from Mark's. Mark too has the story of Simon's mother-in-law (Mark 1:29-31) but places it after the calling of Simon. Mark's order makes a lot more sense; in Luke we are told about Simon and his mother-in-law before we have any idea who Simon is!
So it seems that Luke (who used Mark's gospel as a source) has rearranged Mark. I therefore don't think Luke can be of much help.
Perhaps the best answer is to say that "the disciples" mentioned in John do not actually include Andrew and Simon - although this is hard to accept. Surely John expected us to understand that they followed Jesus from the first moment on? They called him the Messiah, after all. This would mean that they became disciples of Jesus, and travelled with him, long before the imprisonment of John the Baptist. The calling in Mark (after the imprisonment) therefore makes little sense. I think this borders on being Serious.
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