Sunday Evening 10-28-2012

Posted by Sherry

"Go Fish" 
Mark 1:14-20 
CBC 10/28/12 SN
INTRO: Cozumel dive: swam into a giant school of fish...
14 Now after John was arrested and put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the good news (the Gospel) of the kingdom of God,
15 And saying, The [appointed period of] time is fulfilled (completed), and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent ([a]have a change of mind which issues in regret for past sins and in change of conduct for the better) and believe (trust in, rely on, and adhere to) the good news (the Gospel).
16 And passing along the shore of the Sea of Galilee, He saw Simon [Peter] and Andrew the brother of Simon casting a net [to and fro] in the sea, for they were fishermen.
17 And Jesus said to them, Come after Me and [b]be My disciples, and I will make you to become fishers of men.
18 And at once they left their nets and [[c]yielding up all claim to them] followed [with] Him [[d]joining Him as disciples and siding with His party].
19 He went on a little farther and saw James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, who were in [their] boat putting their nets in order.
20 And immediately He called out to them, and [[e]abandoning all mutual claims] they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men and went off after Him [[f]to be His disciples, side with His party, and follow Him].

In verse 17, Jesus makes clear the meaning of his call to believe the gospel when he says,  "Follow me and I will make you fish for people." 

We are given no background information regarding the quick response of the disciples.

We are not told if the Simon, Andrew, James and John had previously heard Jesus preach if they were primed to make this life changing decision. 

We are only told that Jesus saw them and called out to them,  "Follow me." 

And what happened?  They responded. 

These men seemed to understand this call to be an invitation to become disciples of Jesus. 

Regardless of their understanding or lack of it, these men made a radical and immediate decision  that changed their lives forever. 

They left their daily work,  dropping their nets  abandoning their established livelihoods. 

The text makes it clear that James and John walked away from their family ties. 

We cannot help but be amazed and impressed with the immediate and radical commitment that Jesus inspired in these fishermen. 

How can we as the church duplicate that "drop-everything kind of discipleship?" 

Jesus does not call any of us  to a casual discipleship. 

As Dietrich Bonhoeffer pointed out in his book, The Cost of 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 cost us nothing. We cannot earn it. 

But on the other hand,  it costs us everything. 

Our Lord expects us to commit  all that we are  and all that we have.

One theologian has called it a paradox between  "absolute gift and yet absolute demand." 

Maybe we are too quick to hear the absolute gift, and fail to hear  the absolute demand. 

We want the grace  yet too often ignore the costly discipleship. 

The men in our Gospel text immediately knew that Jesus did not invite them to become spectators. 

Rather he wanted them to join him in proclaiming the Good News.

That the Kingdom of God is at hand. 

He makes this clear when he says, "Follow me and I will make you fishers of men. To fish for people." 

Jesus used wonderful terminology to make this kind of discipleship clear to them. 

He picked up on the images of their own vocation.

"I will make you fish for people." 

Fishing for a living in the 1st century was a lot different from the kind of fishing most folks know today, But there are still lessons to be learned from this great analogy of Jesus.

When we understand Jesus words, we will know that the Christian Church is the worlds largest fishing society. 

Our commission by Christ is to  Go Fish! 

To bring men and women into the kingdom of God. 

Many churches sit around bragging about the days when their boat was full of fresh fish. 

They look nostalgically to the days when the main purpose of their church was fishing,  to reach others for Christ. 

So  what does it mean  to go fishing  with Jesus? 

First of all, you are supposed to enjoy fishing. 

It is not to be something that fills you with fear, frustration or dread. 

The fishing analogy can help us to see the joy when lives are changed by the power of Gods love. 

But before we can enjoy it, we have to get out in our world and go fish. 

Fishing is telling your story. How Jesus brought you from here  to Here 

When we begin fishing then and only then can we really understand the joy of the catch and work on becoming better fishermen. 

Some folks are filled with fear,  Yet  others are filled with anticipation of a great catch. 

But all followers of Christ will have to get their hook wet before they can understand what it really means to: Go fish. 

Beloved Learn to enjoy sharing your story. Learn to enjoy fishing  by fishing. 

The second lesson is: we need to go where the fish are.

The reason many fishermen have an empty net is they do not go where the fish are.

Too many people try to fish by sitting in the boat No pole No net  and expect the fish to come to them. 

It just does not work that way. We have to go to them. 

Thirdly we have to use the right bait. 

Now the fishermen in Jesus day usually used a net, which probably has some valuable lessons as well.

But most fishermen today like to use a bait of one type or another. 

But you have to use the right bait. 

If you are fishing for crappie, you would not use top water crank baits. 

If you are fishing for bass, you should not use stink bait that is best for catfish cruising along the bottom. 

Now we have to be careful with this bait analogy.

We are not trying to trick people, so that we can feed on them.

Rather we have to find what it is that interests others, and use that as a means of encouraging them to come into the Kingdom of God.

We are not trying to lure people to their death  but to lead them to a new life in Jesus Christ. 

We must met people at their needs. 

Which could be as simple as friendship. Someone who cares. 

It is taking the time to build a new relationship or to deepen a relationship with those that God has put into your life.

Jesus called his disciples to:  Follow him.  Go fish.

We are quick to hear the first part to follow him, but not the second. To Go Fish. 

This story will help illustrate our call.. 

On a dangerous seacoast where shipwrecks often occur there was once a crude, little, life-saving station. 

The building was just a hut, and there was only one boat  but the few devoted members kept a constant watch over the sea. 

And went out day and night tirelessly searching for the lost. 

Some of those who were saved, and various others in the surrounding area, wanted to become associated with the station.

To give of their time, money and effort for the support of its work.

New boats were bought and new crews trained.

The little life-saving station grew. 

Some of the members of the station were unhappy that the building was so crude and poorly equipped.

They felt that a more comfortable place should be provided as the first refuge of those saved from the sea. 

They replaced the emergency cots with beds and put better furniture in the enlarged building. 

Now, the life-saving station became a popular gathering place for its members.
And they decorated it beautifully and furnished it exquisitely. 

Fewer members were now interested in going to sea on lifesaving missions, so they hired life-boat crews to do this work. 

The life-saving motif still prevailed in this clubs décor,  and there was a symbolic life-boat in the room where the club initiations were held.

About this time a large ship wrecked off the coast, and the hired crews brought in boat loads of cold, wet and half-drowned people. 

They were dirty and sick and some of them had black skin and some had yellow skin. 

The beautiful new club was in chaos. 

So the property committee immediately had a temporary shower erected outside the club where victims of shipwreck could be cleaned up  before coming inside. 

At the next meeting, there was a split in the club membership. 

Most of the members wanted to stop the clubs life-saving activities because it was a hindrance to the normal social life of the club. 

Some members though insisted upon life-saving as their primary purpose  for they were still called a life-saving station. 

But they were finally voted down and told that if they wanted to save lives,  they could begin their own life-saving station down the coast. 

Which They Did. 

As the years went by, this new station experienced the same changes that had occurred in the old. 

It to evolved into a club,  and yet another life-saving station was founded further down the coast.

History continued to repeat itself, and if you visit that sea coast today, you will find a number of exclusive clubs along the shore. 

That is a fairly graphic tale of folks  who forgot what they were originally called for. 

Sadly far too many Churches especially in the developed nations have become this way. 

It is as if we reason that Jesus did not really mean it when he said,  "Go fish." 

If we are to be conformed to the image of Christ.

If we are going to be mature in the faith we must  "Go Fish". 

We must have a heart for the lost. 

If we are conformed to the image of Christ how can we not share the Good News! How can we not: Go Fish?

No back-up strategy?" 

Jesus... "I have made no other plans. 

I am counting on them!" 

The same call Jesus extended to Peter, Andrew, James, and John, 
He extends to everyone who has received His call to salvation. 

Remember who you are in Christ. You are a Fisher of Men  a Fisher of People. 

Jesus states in the Gospel of John that you should Love one another  as I have loved you. 

That makes sharing your life in Christ  That makes Fishing so much easier.

Love gives us the desire to introduce others to our Lord & Savior. 

I believe the opposite of Love is not Hate, , it is Fear.

And it is fear that keeps us from stepping out and doing the right thing. 

It could be the fear of how we are perceived  the fear that we might be considered different.

Remember our Lords words:  

"Fear Not"! I am with you always even to the end of the age. 

Beloved  Jesus is counting on all who call him both Savior and Lord to "Go Fish" . Jesus is counting on you!

Be courageous  stand firm in the faith.

Yield to Jesus, offer to him all that you are.  

and let him take you from glory to glory. 


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