Summary: Christ may choose to use unlikely people, busy people in the midst of other things, who have no thought of taking Christ into their world.
Title: The Kind of People Christ Chooses to Use
Text: Luke 5:1-11
Thesis: Christ may choose to use unlikely people, busy people in the midst of other things, who have no thought of taking Christ into their world.
#1 in the Series: Bringing Christ to Your World…
I am fascinated a bit by the way we put words together… by shifting or rearranging the same words we can nuance the implications of what it is we are attempting to communicate. The danger of nuancing and tweaking language is that the result is nothing more than much ado about nothing. However, I do believe there is something of a difference between saying, “I want to bring my world to Christ,” and saying, “I want to bring Christ to my world.”
I always read those guru cartoons in the newspaper… those cartoons where there is a whiskered and white-robed master sitting on the top of a mountain and someone is clinging to the mountainside seeking his wisdom.
Sometimes the lines are amusing, like the one where the guru responds:
• “The meaning of life is on the next mountain. I teach helpful household tips.” Or,
• “If I knew how to get rich quick, would I be sitting on this mountain?” Or,
• “Boy, I wish I had brought a magazine.” Or,
• “Don’t patronize me. Nobody cares what I think anymore. Go ask Dr. Phil.”
If I think of Christ in that way, I imagine a Jesus who removes himself from society and perches himself high on some remote mountain… waiting for seekers to wind their ways up the mountainside to reach him. I am more inclined to think of Jesus immersing himself in society. I am more inclined to see Christ as the seeker, rather than the one being sought. Jesus himself said, “I have come to seek and to save the lost.” And, on the occasion when he said, “No one can come to me unless the Father draws him,” the implication is that even when we feel drawn to Christ, it is God who has sought us and God who is drawing us to Christ.
In our story today, we see Christ surrounded by people on the shore of the Sea of Galilee. He sees two boats on the waters edge and he sees fishermen washing their nets after a night of fishing. He asks one of the fishermen to let him sit in one of his boats while he spoke to the people gathered along the shoreline.
So, the first thought that emerges from the text is that Jesus seeks all people and sometimes chooses to use unlikely people.
I. Jesus may choose to work through unlikely people.
“One day as Jesus was preaching, great crowds pressed in on him to listen to the Words of God. And he noticed two empty boats at the water’s edge [so] Jesus stepped into a boat and asked the owner to push out…” Luke 5:1-3
A. The first truth that leaps from the text is that Jesus wants to reach everyone. He is no respecter of persons. Jesus is not willing that any should perish, but that everyone should come to repentance (II Peter 3:8-10).
I am intrigued by the ambiguous nature of the large, gathered crowd. There is no indication of who they were or what they did. There is no word as to their ethnicity. There is no word as to their social status, age, or gender. It may be assumed that they were representative of the people who lived in the area… it would be like the mix of people who:
• Walk Flat Irons Mall this weekend, or
• the crowd that packs out the Garden and Home Show at the Colorado Convention Center this weekend or those who attend the Stock Show at the Denver Coliseum every year, or like
• the crowd that will wander through Civic Center Park during the Taste of Colorado next Labor Day Weekend.
Jesus made it his custom to be where people were… all kinds of people. Anyone one of us in this room could have been in that crowd.
B. The second thing about these verses that strikes me is that he chose to use or work through an unlikely person.
He is identified as Simon. We know him as Simon Peter. He was the one who jumped out of the boat and attempted to walk on water. He is the one who took his sword and sliced off the ear of one of the soldiers who came to arrest Jesus on the night of his betrayal. He is the one who denied Jesus three times while he when he was brought before the High Priest. But his is also the one who preached the powerful sermon on the Day of Pentecost that resulted in three thousand people becoming followers of Jesus Christ.