Saturday of Trinity 13 – Matthew 4:12-25

| August 26, 2016 | 0 Comments More

Matthew 4:12-25

“And Jesus, walking by the Sea of Galilee, saw two brothers, Simon called Peter,

and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen.  Then He said to them, ‘Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.’  They immediately left their nets and followed Him.”

I want to try one of my favorite tricks when reading the Bible.  It’s a technique I pioneered when I was in 2nd and 3rd grade.  Ever since 2nd grade, I had always wanted to be a writer, by which I meant writing stories and novels.  I remember when I was in college, I still wanted to believe that when I finished my first novel I would get rich and famous and not have to lead a real life.  The grand irony, of course, was that back then I had nothing to write about but had the desire, energy, and time.  Now I have slightly more to write about but much, much less time and energy.

But I digress.  In 2nd and 3rd grade, I liked to write funny stories, especially if I could get my classmates to laugh along with me.  So I wrote a story once with an entire page of “very”s.  You know, something like, “It was a very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very hot day.”  My teacher wrote at the top of the page something like, “Don’t ever do this again.”

I wrote slapstick stories about people falling into pools and having tree branches thwack them so that they fell down, etc.  It seemed particularly funny to the 3rd grade boy mind if I had these things happen to a girl.

One of my favorite techniques was to allow for audience participation.  I would write a story, complete except for several adjectives that I left blank.  The class would then get to vote from a multiple-choice list of adjectives that they could fill in.  They were nearly always things negative adjectives, and the sentences would go something like, “The girl was a) smelly   b) dirty  c)  ugly  d) all of the above.”

One time I had the idea for leaving blanks and allowing for one of my classmates to have his name be put into the story.

And that’s what I’d like to do this morning in Matthew 4.  Only you’re the lucky classmate whose name I’d like to put into the story.  Here goes!

“And Jesus, walking by name of your city, saw your name as (s)he as typical activity you do on a daily basis, for (s)he was a(n) your occupation.  Then He said to your name, “Follow me, and I will make you what you think Jesus may be calling you to be.”

After you’ve had a while to fill in the blanks for yourself, the story continues, and this is where I need even more audience participation.  The rest of the story for the disciples went like this: “They immediately left their nets and followed Him.”  The other ending, for the other brothers who were fisherman, reads like this in verse 22: “And immediately they left the boat and their father, and followed Him.  But now, after you’ve filled in all the blanks above, I need you to write a sentence that describes your response to what it is that Jesus has told you to do and called you to be when He passed by and called to you.

There are several things, then, that you should get out of this passage.  I’ll summarize them for those of you who like bullet points.

  1. Put yourself in the story.  Imagine that Jesus is coming to see you today.  (He is, you know!)  Your job is to look and listen for Him today as He comes to you. 
  2. He sees who you are and calls you to follow Him.  Your job is to follow Him and come closer to Him, ready to do what He asks.   
  3. He calls you to become something more than you are, as you follow and serve Him.  Your job is to immediately follow Him when He tells you what your next assignment is. 

That’s pretty much it for today, from me.  The rest is up to you.  I can give you a few hints from Matthew 4, but your circumstances will be different and Jesus’ call to you will be different.  We know that Jesus called the disciples to do 2 things: one was simply to follow Him, without knowing the wheres and the whys.  The other was that He was calling them to be fishers of men.

Your call, then, is definitely to follow Him wherever He asks you to go, even if you don’t understand it all.  And He is probably calling to you help make fishers of men, that is, to be a disciple who makes disciples.

We know as well what Jesus then began to do, with His disciples observing and learning all that He did: He taught, preached, and healed the sick.  Again, these are the broad categories of what He is likely asking you to do.  They relate to your helping to lead other Christians towards God, leading non-Christians closer to God, serving others in love, and many other things.  Again, it will look different on you than it did on Peter and Andrew and James and John.

What would each of these look like in your life?  I’ve got some ideas, but I, and others, would like to hear your ideas!

Prayer:  Almighty God, who didst give such grace unto thy holy Apostle Saint Andrew, that he readily obeyed the calling of thy Son Jesus Christ, and followed him without delay; Grant unto us all, that we, being called by thy holy Word, may forthwith give up ourselves obediently to fulfill thy holy commandments; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen. 

Point for Meditation:  See the meditation above and finish it!

Resolution:  I resolve to follow Jesus in the way He has told me to follow Him today, even when I don’t understand the whys and wheres. 

© 2016 Fr. Charles Erlandson  

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Category: Give Us This Day

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