God has Chosen you; Chosen you to Change you and, then, Chosen you to be an Agent of Change wherever you live, play, work and travel.
The Gospel of Matthew begins by giving us a glimpse into the inauguration of Jesus’ earthly ministry at His Baptism in the Jordan River by His cousin, John the Baptist. Immediately afterward, Jesus is “led by the [Holy] Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil” for forty days and forty nights. (Matthew 4: 1-2) And after John is imprisoned by Herod, “Jesus began to preach, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.’” (Matthew 4: 17) Jesus needed no “earthly help” to proclaim that He was the promised Messiah; that the Kingdom was near; and that He was bringing the Kingdom of God to those who would trust Him as the Savior of the World. He was, after all, the Son of God; God the Son; the Light of the World (Isaiah 9: 2 and Matthew 4: 16).
Yet, in His wisdom and grace, He began to choose earthly disciples to participate with Him in proclaiming the Kingdom of God and sharing God’s love in Christ with the entire world. These same disciples, and those who would soon be chosen to join them, are the ones who would proclaim the life and death of Jesus and the saving, life-giving message of His triumphant resurrection! “As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, He saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. ‘Come, follow Me,’ Jesus said, ‘and I will make you fishers of men.’ At once they left their nets and followed Him. Going on from there, He saw two other brothers [James and John]… preparing their nets. Jesus called them, and immediately they… followed Him.” (Matthew 4: 18-22) Jesus Chose these men and Changed them forever. He Chose these unschooled, unsophisticated men to be His Change Agents in the world. And God’s message through them has changed the history of the world!
Jesus did NOT “Call the Qualified,” rather He “Qualified the Called!” He chooses “ordinary people,” like you and me, – men and women, boys and girls, grandpas and grandmas – to be His modern-day disciples. By His grace He has chosen us to Believe in Him as our only Lord and Savior; to Stand firm in the truth of His Word, in spite of wicked worldly opposition; to Serve Him through our loving service to those around us and to faithfully and joyfully Follow wherever He leads us.
Through the waters of Baptism, through the life-giving Word of God and through the witness of the Gospel, God has Chosen You to be His own. He has Chosen you in order to Change you and, now, He has Chosen you to be an Agent of Change wherever you live, play, work and travel. May God grant to each of us, His modern-day disciples, the compassion, power, courage, strength and joy to be “fishers of men!”
See you in church this next weekend!
Blessings in Christ,