Thursday, December 15th, 2016
Now after John was put in prison, Jesus came to Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, Mark 1:14
The verse above begins by making a transition from John’s ministry to that of Jesus. This short statement closes the door on John the baptizer and opens the doors on Jesus’ Galilean ministry. At first glance, Jesus’ mission does not appear all that different from John’s. Jesus too emphasizes the word ‘repent’ but Jesus gives us a very different reason why. John said to repent as a way of preparing for the coming Messiah. Jesus says to repent for the Kingdom of God is at hand. The waiting is over.
From Mark 14-20, Jesus makes clear the meaning of His call to believe the Gospel of God’s Righteousness that comprises His baptism, death and resurrection when He says in verse 17 “follow me and I will make you fish for people” What happened? The disciples like Simon, Andrew, John and James understood and responded the call to become disciples of Jesus.
When we understand Jesus’ words, we will know that the Church of God is the world’s largest fishing community.
Regardless of their understanding or lack of it, these men made a radical and immediate decision that changed their life forever. How can we at NCCkl duplicate that immediate radical commitment that Jesus inspired in these fishermen.
Jesus does not call any of us to a casual discipleship. Jesus does not call us to cheap grace. He calls us to costly discipleship. In a way there is a paradox of our faith. On the one hand grace is free and costs us nothing. We cannot earn it. On the other hand, it costs us everything. Our Lord expects us to commit all that we are and all that we have. A paradox between absolute gift and yet absolute demand. We want the grace, yet too often we ignore the costly discipleship.
‘Let’s Fish’ for people with Jesus.
- We Are Supposed To Enjoy Fishing
It is not to be something that fills us with fear, frustration or dread. The fishing analogy can help us to see the joy when lives are changed by the Gospel of God’s Righteousness. However, before we can enjoy it, we have to get out and fish. Fishing is simply telling the story of God’s righteousness on how Jesus’ baptism, death and resurrection has saved us from sin. When we are fishing, the joy of the catch is scintillating. We will have to get our hook wet before we can understand the joy of getting someone saved from eternal death.
- We Need To Go Where The Fish Are
The reason many fisherman have an empty net or hook is because they do not know where the fishes are. We ought to seek for the lost sheep. We must be thoroughly equipped with spiritual knowledge and discernment before going out to fish. Too many of us try to fish with no pole, no net and expect the fish to come to us. It just does not work that way. We have to go to the fish. We must have a heart for the lost. In John 21:1-11, Jesus teaches us how and where to do our fishing.
- We Have To Use The Right Bait
We must lure the lost souls with the Gospel Word of baptism, death and resurrection by encouraging, contributing, leading and extending mercy of God. We are not trying to lure people to their death but to lead them to a new life in Christ. In Acts 3:1-12, Peter and John demonstrated how they use the Gospel of God’s Righteousness as the bait when they encountered the crippled man at the Beautiful Gate leading to the temple. They did the right things, availed themselves, showed empathy, inspired others, used what they had, emphasized God as the source and moved in faith to fish people.
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