Advent: Learning to WaitNovember 29, 2018
Saint of the Day for November 30: St. Andrew (d. 60?)November 30, 2018
“I will make you fishers of people”
Author Don Schwager – Scripture: Matthew 4:18-22 (alternate reading: Luke 21:29-33)
18 As he walked by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon who is called Peter and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. 19 And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” 20 Immediately they left their nets and followed him. 21 And going on from there he saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee and John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets, and he called them. 22 Immediately they left the boat and their father, and followed him.
Meditation: What is God’s call on your life and are you ready to respond? When Jesus began his ministry he went every where he could – the streets, towns, hills and lakeside of Galilee – to speak to people about the kingdom of God. He chose as his closest friends and coworkers those who were ready to follow as his disciples and he gave them an unusual mission – “to catch people for the kingdom of God.”
Jesus chooses ordinary people to do great things for his kingdom
What kind of disciples did Jesus choose? Smelly fishermen! In the choice of the first apostles we see a characteristic feature of Jesus’ work – he chose very ordinary people. They were non-professionals, had no wealth or position of power or fame in society. They were chosen from the common people who did ordinary things, had no special marks of education, and no social advantages. Jesus wanted ordinary people who could take an assignment and do it extraordinarily well. He chose these individuals, not for what they were, but for what they would become under his direction and the power of the Holy Spirit.
When the Lord Jesus calls each of us to be his disciples, we must not think we have nothing to offer him in exchange. The Lord takes what ordinary people, like us, can offer and uses it for greatness in his kingdom. Do you believe that God wants to work in and through you for his glory?
Jesus calls each of us to bring the joy of the Gospel to those around us
Jesus speaks the same message to us today: we will “catch people” for the kingdom of God if we allow the light of Jesus Christ to shine through us. God wants others to see the light of Christ in us in the way we live, speak, and witness the joy of the Gospel. Paul the Apostles says, “But thanks be to God, who in Christ Jesus always leads us in triumph, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere. For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing” (2 Corinthians 2:15). Do you show others around you the joy of the Gospel and do you pray for your neighbors, co-workers, and relatives that they may come to personally know the Lord Jesus Christ and grow in the knowledge of his love?
“Lord Jesus, you have called me personally by name, just as you called your first disciples, Simon, Andrew, James, and John. Fill me with the joy of your Gospel (the good news of the kingdom of heaven) and help me to be a good and faithful witness of your kingdom to all I meet.”
7 The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple;
8 the precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes;
9 the fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever; the ordinances of the LORD are true, and righteous altogether.
10 More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb.
Daily Quote from the early church fathers: Jesus chooses them for what they can become, by an anonymous early author from the Greek church
“‘Before he says or does anything, he calls the apostles so nothing may be concealed from them as to Christ’s words or works and they may later say in confidence: ‘For we cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard’ (Acts 4:20). He sees them not bodily but spiritually, regarding not their appearance but their hearts. And he chooses them not as apostles but because they could become apostles. Just as an artist who sees precious, and not rough-hewn, stones chooses them – not because of what they are but because of what they can become. Like the sensitive artist who does not spurn the unshaped good – so too the Lord, upon seeing them, does not choose their works but their hearts.” (excerpt from INCOMPLETE WORK ON MATTHEW, HOMILY 7, the Greek fathers).
Meditations may be freely reprinted for non-commercial use – please cite: copyright (c) 2018 Servants of the Word, source: www.dailyscripture.net, author Don Schwager
Scripture quotations from Common Bible: Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright 1973, and Ignatius Edition of the Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright 2006, by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Citation references for quotes from the writings of the early church fathers can be found here.
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