Summary: In the fullness of time comes Jesus, interrupting lives and calling persons to salvation and discipleship.
Third Sunday after Epiphany 2006
Dr. Paul G. Humphrey
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Story has it that Mark Twain loved to go fishing, but he hated to catch fish. The problem was he went fishing to relax, and catching fish ruined his relaxation, since he had to take the fish off the hook and do something with it. When he wanted to relax by doing nothing, people thought he was lazy, but if he went fishing he could relax all he wanted. People would see him sitting by the river bank and they would say, “Look, he’s fishing, don’t bother him.” So Mark Twain had the perfect solution: he would take a fishing pole, line, and a bobber, but he wouldn’t put a hook on the end. He would cast the bobber in the water and lay back on the bank. That way he could relax all he wanted and he would be bothered neither by man nor fish.
Mark Twain is like a lot of Christians I know. They have their pole in the water, but there is no hook on the end. They are not fishing; they are relaxing. Do you think this is what Jesus had in mind when he said, “Come, follow me, and I will make you fishers of men”? (Matthew 4:19). [SermonCentral]
This morning we are going to be looking at Jesus’ call of four fishermen. Let us turn together to Mark 1:14.
1:14 Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee,
preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God,
1:15 And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at
hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.
I. In the fullness of time comes Jesus interrupting lives with a call to salvation.
In the planned, allotted and predicted time came Jesus. Jesus’ coming was a fulfillment of the prophecy of the Old Testament. Jesus had a time in God’s history eternal wherein he was to come in flesh offering the Gospel to all who would repent and believe.
The Gospel is the Gospel of a Kingdom. It is salvation, and it comes through repentance and belief in Christ and the way that he has made. Matthew calls the Kingdom, “the Kingdom of Heaven.” Kingdom of God and Kingdom of Heaven are one in the same. The Kingdom is Salvation, and this Kingdom that Jesus offers is a present experience, and yet also a future expectation. In one place Jesus speaks of the Kingdom saying, “look not here nor there, for the Kingdom is within you.” In another place Jesus tells a man who is understanding his message, “You are not far from the Kingdom.” The Kingdom is something that can be grasped and experienced here on this earth. Thus, the Kingdom is something that is here. Yet, it is also something to come. Jesus said, “My Kingdom is not of this world.” Jesus prays, “Thy Kingdom come.” Jesus also tells us that he goes to prepare a place for us. There is a real heaven. So, the Kingdom has another realm as well. The Kingdom of God is both a present experience as well as a future expectation. It is the presence and reign of God in our lives here now, and in heaven. It is salvation.
Jesus comes into lives, interrupting lives with his message of salvation.
Our call to salvation is a beginning point in faith. Yet, I want you to understand that we will face many more calls, interruptions and turning points as Christ reigns in our lives.
Interruptions are always points of opportunity.
If you have salvation, then you are his disciple, and you can expect to be interrupted by his call.
Two things that I want you to hang on to here: 1. Salvation is the reign and presence of God in the life of a believer, be it here, or be it in heaven to come. 2. It comes about with a call to repentance and faith.
He is both your Lord and Savior, or he is neither. If he is your Lord, then he is going to be calling, he is going to be interrupting your life.
II. In the fullness of time comes Jesus interrupting lives and calling people to discipleship.
There was once a lawyer sitting at his desk. He received a brochure in the mail that was supposed to go to someone else. He sat at his desk looking at the brochure, which was about missions in Africa. Right then and there he decided that he was going to become a missionary to Africa, and that is exactly what he did. God had interrupted his life. God had placed a turning point in his life.
God calls us in many different ways and at many different times along life’s journey. God might call you to be a missionary to Africa, or he might call you to be a missionary to your own street, in your own town.