Summary: A sermon for the 3rd Sunday after the Epiphany The call of the first 4 disciples
3rd Sunday after the Epiphany
When Jesus heard that John had been put in prison, he returned to Galilee. 13Leaving Nazareth, he went and lived in Capernaum, which was by the lake in the area of Zebulun and Naphtali&endash; 14to fulfill what was said through the prophet Isaiah: 15 "Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali,
the way to the sea, along the Jordan,
Galilee of the Gentiles&endash; 16 the people living in darkness
have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death
a light has dawned."[e]
17 From that time on Jesus began to preach, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near."
The Calling of the First Disciples
18 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. 19 "Come, follow me," Jesus said, "and I will make you fishers of men." 20 At once they left their nets and followed him.
21 Going on from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John. They were in a boat with their father Zebedee, preparing their nets. Jesus called them, 22 and immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him.
Jesus Heals the Sick
23 Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people. 24 News about him spread all over Syria, and people brought to him all who were ill with various diseases, those suffering severe pain, the demon possessed, those having seizures, and the paralyzed, and he healed them. 25 Large crowds from Galilee, the Decapolis,[f] Jerusalem, Judea and the region across the Jordan followed him
New International Version
Grace and Peace to you from our Lord and Saviour, who is the fisher of men. amen
Our gospel lesson is the familiar lesson of the call of the first 4 disciples. Jesus returns to Galilee to begin his public ministry as he has heard that John is now in prison. Jesus begins by preaching to the people that they must repent for the kingdom of God is near.
God’s time was now breaking upon the earth. It was the time that salvation would come in the form of Jesus. The time was beginning to fulfilled now. The people who walked in a great darkness were going to see the light. The light of the Epiphany was now upon the earth and was beginning His ministry.
"Time’s up! You’ve been waiting how many years for the Messiah to show up? Well, I’m here. And right on time." God’s people can trust in the perfect timing of God. He may not always come when you want Him, but He is always right on time and when He shows up it’s with supreme authority.
We’ll be a lot happier if we remember that sometimes God answers our prayers by saying, "Not yet." A man once asked God how long a million years was to Him. God replied, "It’s just like a single second of your time, my child." So the man asked, "And what about a million dollars?" The Lord replied, "To me, it’s just like a single penny." So the man gathered himself up and said, "Well, Lord, could I have one of your pennies?" And God said, "Certainly, my child, just a second."
The timing of God is perfect. 1
God’s timing was now at hand. The time had been fulfilled, the Messiah had come and He had to begin His ministry.
And one of the first things he did was to call 4 common men to follow him, to be his disciples. Jesus had a dream about His ministry. it would be a ministry that would reach out to those who were in deep darkness. Jesus needed others to make His plan a reality.
He needed others to dream along with him.
But dreams can be dangerous.
" A few years ago Hollywood came out with a movie about a man named Tucker. It was the story of a man who tried to fight the Detroit auto industry by creating a car named after himself. In one scene, Tucker recalls how as a young boy his Italian born mother would warn him, "Don’t get too close to people, you’ll catch their dreams." She had meant to say you’ll catch their germs." But in broken English she had mistakenly used the word "dreams" So Tucker grew up keeping himself apart from others lest He catch their dreams. Dreams are dangerous after all, for they have the power to change the human soul and to overthrow the status quo. Just ask anyone who’s heart was filled with fear when a black preacher declared on national television, "I have a dream." Dreams are dangerous things. They are to be feared. They are to be avoided at all cost.