Summary: A sermon for the 3rd Sunday after the Epiphany Jesus calling the fishermen
3rd Sunday after Epiphany
"A Sense of Calling"
14 Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God,
15 and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent, and believe in the gospel.”
16 And passing along by the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew the brother of Simon casting a net in the sea; for they were fishermen.
17 And Jesus said to them, “Follow me and I will make you become fishers of men.”
18 And immediately they left their nets and followed him.
19 And going on a little farther, he saw James the son of Zebedee and John his brother, who were in their boat mending the nets.
20 And immediately he called them; and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired servants, and followed him.
Grace and Peace to you from our risen Lord. Amen
In her book, A Man Called Peter, Catherine Marshall tells how her late preacher-husband felt a sense of destiny a sense of call in his life.
One dark night, Peter, then a young man, decided to take a shortcut across the Scottish moors. He knew there was a deep deserted limestone. quarry in that area, but he was confident he could avoid it.
Suddenly, he heard someone call, "Peter" there was great urgency in the voice. Peter stopped and called "Yes who is it? What do you want?"
There was no answer. He walked a few more steps and then heard the voice calling still more urgently, "Peter!"
He paused then stumbled and fell on his knees. Putting out his hand to catch himself, he found nothing there!! He was at the very edge of the abandoned stone quarry. One more step would have meant certain death."
From that calling, Peter Marshall knew he was called by God for the ministry.
Peter Marshall had a sense of calling, a sense that God had a purpose for his life. And I think in the same way each of us have been called by God to fulfill a purpose, to fulfill some task in this life, to become part of God’s over-all plan.
Today four more common men have an encounter with Jesus. If you remember last week’s sermon, we looked at the call of Philip and Nathaniel. Jesus had called Philip and then Philip told Nathanael about his encounter with Jesus. Remember that Nathanael put Philip off with some coarse words, but Philip didn’t back away, but uttered three simple words, come and see. Come and see. Nathaniel came and saw Jesus, had an encounter with him, and believed that he was the Messiah.
In today’s gospel lesson, we have another encounter with Jesus this time in Mark’s gospel. Jesus is beginning his public ministry, and he came into Galilee and passing along by the Sea of Galilee he called these fishermen to become fisher of men.
Notice the technique Jesus used. The text says, "he saw Simon and Andrew the brother of Simon casting a net in the sea; for they were fishermen. And Jesus said to them, " Follow me and I will make you become fishers of men." And immediately they left their nets and followed him."
Can you feel the urgency, the immediacy, the conviction, of these men.