Saturday 30 November 2013

Bible Book:

] said to them, 'Follow me, and I will make you fish for people.'" (v. 19)

Matthew 4:18-22 Saturday 30 November 2013


On St Andrew's Day the Church prays for the success of God'smission throughout the world. This theme provides a lens throughwhich to read today's passage. It helps us to focus on one themeonly. Through the call of Jesus comes the call of God to followhim, within the fellowship of all Jesus' disciples. The common aimof Jesus and his followers is to announce and pray for the comingof God's kingdom. Disciples strain every fibre of their being totransform personal and social life in the light of a vision ofpeace, justice and prosperity for all.

Because it is God who calls, there can be no negotiation, nodithering. The call is crystal clear. It overrides every othercommitment. It may cost nothing less than life itself (eg Luke9:23-24).

How we crave for more circumstantial details to fill out thebackground of this passage! We would love to know how often Jesushad met the fishermen before he called them; and what hadtranspired between them.

We long to understand how the four fishermen squared theirdecision to follow a poor, itinerant preacher with their family andbusiness responsibilities.

We may feel that if we knew such details, we would be betterequipped today to be effective evangelists and disciples. In fact,there is no single pattern to such matters. For each of us thedetail has to be worked out in context, according to circumstancesand with respect for our gifts and experience. There is noprescription on offer for introducing people to the kingdom and itsdemands; or for working out the consequences for someone who obeysthe call of Jesus.

However, we are never left to our own devices to sort theseimportant details. Fellow disciples have plenty of wisdom to share.And God's Spirit works in every human heart to support and guide alife dedicated to God.

The style of this passage prevents us getting lost in suchmatters. Important as they are, they are secondary. The heart ofthe matter is hearing and responding, fully and immediately, to thecall of Jesus.

To Ponder

  • Take time to reflect on one or two key moments in your lifewhen you have felt an overpowering sense of God's call or theclaims of conscience.
  • Would it be valuable if Christian people shared with oneanother their sense of vocation, in a natural and open way? If so,where and how could this happen in your local church?
  • In what ways could you and your congregation more boldly andclearly present the call of Jesus in your neighbourhood?
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