Summary: A look at the real life results of a decision to follow Jesus.
When I was in elementary school, we didn’t have Upward basketball. The only league we had was the Westerville Parks and Rec. And for me the Westerville parks and rec league presented a problem. The problem was that I wasn’t allowed to play until the 4th grade. For those of you who don’t know, I have two older brothers. So for years I went to my brothers’ practices and my brothers’ games and waited for my opportunity to play. Finally the year arrived. My dad was one of the coaches, and our team was pretty good. (Show picture of me, then picture of the team, leave long enough for people to see and then go to a blank slide). I wasn’t very good, but our team was good. And as luck would have it, we won the whole thing; we were the champions of the league that year.
But winning the championship isn’t really what I want to focus on this morning. Oh no, I want to tell you about a boy who was on my team. His name was Davey. I won’t use his last name to protect his identity. But Davey was special. In fact Daveys’ whole family was special. Davey was extremely smart. But to tell you the truth, Davey didn’t even know he was on a basketball team. To Davey the court looked like a field of flowers where you jumped and skipped and sang.
According to the rules of the league, Davey had to play two quarters during each game. But, since Davey had a little trouble remembering that it was basketball he was playing, he had a little trouble staying with the man he was supposed to guard. At the beginning of each quarter, the players would stand opposite each other at mid-court and match up. And so one game my dad thought he would try a new strategy. He stood Davey in front of his man and he said Davey, this is the man you are guarding. Wherever he goes, you go. You follow him everywhere.
It wasn’t too long after that the opposing team called a time out. Our team huddled together and at some point during the time out the other coach starting screaming. She was really upset and it didn’t take long to figure out why. Davey had followed his man into the opposing teams huddle during the time out. Davey had heard and understood my dad. You follow him wherever he goes, and that is what he did. Well we had to convince the other coach that even if Davey had heard some sort of strategy, that he wouldn’t have understood it anyway, and the game went on.
I lost track of Davey after middle school. I wouldn’t be surprised if he was working for NASA today. My hope is that by the end of our time today, not only will we get a laugh from Davey, but we might learn something from him as well.
Turn with me please if you would to Matthew 4:18-22. (Mateo 4:18-22). We will have the passage on the screen if you do not have your bible today.
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 son of Zebedee and his brother John. They were in a boat with their father Zebedee, preparing their nets. Jesus called them, and immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him.
Mientras caminaba junto al mar de Galilea, Jesús vio a dos hermanos: uno era Simón, llamado Pedro, y el otro Andrés. Estaban echando la red al lago, pues eran pescadores. «Vengan, síganme —les dijo Jesús—, y los haré pescadores de hombres.» Al instante dejaron las redes y lo siguieron.
Más adelante vio a otros dos hermanos: *Jacobo y Juan, hijos de Zebedeo, que estaban con su padre en una barca remendando las redes. Jesús los llamó, y dejaron en seguida la barca y a su padre, y lo siguieron.
Sometimes those of us who are familiar with the bible and its stories miss some of the irony that is present. This story we just read, at first glance, is every parent’s nightmare. What do parents and schools always teach children? Never talk to strangers and especially never go anywhere with a stranger. If I were to hear this passage today for the first time, I would think this was weird. Let’s say I was in my front yard cutting the grass, and some guy drove up to my sidewalk and yelled out the window, come and follow me, I’d tell him to take a hike.