Summary: This sermon asks the question "Does Jesus have a Fave Network?"
Someone once said “When Fisherman don’t fish, they fight”. In the eye of the storm Max Lucado tells of a trip where only he and his dad went fishing. First kept in the camper by the rain, the next morning frozen in by the ice. (1) “They tried to be cheerful! "No problem," they said. "We can play Monopoly...again. We can reread the stories in Reader’s Digest. And surely we know another joke or two." But they weren’t nearly as cheerful about it all.
And as the day went on, they began to get more and more irritable and edgy. It was a long day and a long night. The next morning, when they awoke to the sound of sleet hitting the roof, they didn’t even pretend to be cheerful. They were flat-out grumpy. They sat in misery the whole day, their fishing equipment still unpacked.” … Lucado adds “he learned an important lesson that week. Not about fishing, but about people. He writes, "When those who are called to fish don’t fish, they fight. When energy intended to be used outside is used inside, the result is explosive. Instead of casting nets, we cast stones...Instead of being fishers of the lost, we become critics of the saved." (CS.COM “When Fisherman Don’t Fish”, Rev. Jeremy Houck)
This morning I’m not talking about fishing, as much as I want to talk about Jesus inner circle. And drawing from the "T Mobile" commercial, I want to raise the question "Does jesus have a Fave Network?" Does Jesus have a Fave Five? Is there such a thing as the Fave Four Fisherman? I see some of you shaking your heads, and you already seem to know the answer to this probably rhetorical question.
In our text today, Matthew records the calling of the first four disciples. I can imagine if we take today’s lingo and go back in the day and make a commercial, it might go something like this:
Mathew: Jesus, are you going to put me in the inner group? In your inner circle?
Jesus: Matthew, I’ve already told you I have added you to my top twelve friends on mydisciple.com
Matthew: I know, but am I in your Fave Four?
Jesus: Matthew, you know that you are someone I count on.
Matthew: I bet those fisherman are in your Fave Four?
Jesus: It’s not about the fisherman. Besides, its about fishing for people.
Matthew: Sure, people in your Fave Four!
Narrator: Whose in your Fave Four? Have you made a new connection at J-Mobile (That’s Jesus Mobile)!
In today’s world we have the Fave Five at T-Mobile, or your Top Ten Friends list at MySpace.Com. My son Daryl told me of a story where someone at College last year was upset because a friend had dropped them from their “top ten” list on My Space and relegated them to the area where you “view all their friends”. In other words he felt dis’d from the inner circle; dropped from the Fave Five.
1. What does it mean to be in the inner circle? What does it mean to be in Jesus Fave Four Fisherman or in Jesus Top 12 Disciples? The response of Peter, Andrew, James & John was once of immediacy. “Immediately they left their nets and followed him”. It wasn’t a response of well God let me finish up my commitment to the P.T.A. and then I’ll follow you… But rather, to be part of Jesus inner circle they followed Him immediately with commitment; and devotion.
2. The question might be, not what does it mean to be in Jesus inner circle, but does He have one? Does he have a inner circle that only reflects the Fave Four Fisherman or the Twelve Disciples. In my own family there are times one of the boys will say “Well Daryl’s your favorite” or Daryl will say “Well Josh is your favorite”… And the reality is that I love them both! I love them each, and want to be in a relationship with both of them, as a Father loves their child! But does God have favorites?
The answer comes in another passage of Scripture found in James 2:1-13. (Let me read this passage.) In James 3:17 we read that God’s wisdom is filled with mercy and good fruits “without a trace of partiality”. Can you imagine that God loves each of us the same?
A story is told (2) “Shortly after the close of the Civil War, a former slave entered a fashionable church in Richmond, one Sunday morning at the beginning of a communion service. When the time came, he walked down the aisle and knelt at the altar. A rustle of shock and anger swept through the congregation. A distinguished layman immediately stood up, stepped forward to the altar and knelt beside this Christian brother. Captured by his spirit, the congregation followed. The layman who set the example: Robert E. Lee. There’s a monument I would like to see, Lee and an ex-slave kneeling in prayer at the alter of Christ.” (2 – CS.COM “God Doesn’t Play Favorites”, by Daniel Colvin)