The Kingdom of Heaven brings forgiveness, reconciliation, a new start, and second chances. And because of this, the Kingdom of Heaven gathers believers to have a new future. Jesus has communicated the message of the Kingdom through His words and through His signs and wonders. Throughout the Bible, the Gospels show us Jesus exemplifies the message in the way He treats people, including outcasts like the tax collectors, the lepers, and all the broken people. Jesus reaches out to them all, and shows grace, love, and that the people around Him matter.
And Jesus is Calling us to do the same.
In Luke 5:1-11, Jesus says to Simon (Peter), “Move out into deeper water, and drop your nets to see what you’ll catch.” And in doing as Jesus said, Peter and the others caught such an overwhelming load of fish that it almost caused the boat to sink. And then, even though the Disciples at this point in their lives, do not even feel worthy enough to be around Him, Jesus says at the end of this passage of scripture, “Don’t be afraid! From now on you’ll be fishing for the souls of men (people)!”
And that is exactly what the Disciples did with their lives, they went fishing for people and shared the Gospel of Christ and they changed the world. However, the problem with the world today is that Christians have become complacent.
We Fish close to shore… staying close to what feels safe… staying within calm waters.
Sometimes we feel like we’re too flawed to reach out to invite others and share about Christ. Sometimes we feel too ashamed of our own sins, and think we are not worthy of sharing about Christ because of our own brokenness. But we are surround by God’s grace and we are called to go and make disciples. Just like the disciples who thought they were unworthy, we have Jesus showing us grace who says, “Don’t be afraid, Simon (insert your name). From now on, I’ll ask you to bring Me people instead of fish.”
We are called through grace to follow God. We are called to partner with God and go and make Disciples. Jesus is telling us to go Fishing out in deeper waters, to go out away from our comfort zone. We are being called to go to the fish where they are, NOT to wait for them to come to us.
You see, we live in a one fishing pole mentality. We have one rod and reel and we stay put, and simply cast out a line from the front door of our church building. We sit and wait to see if any fish bite... will they come to us… then… if we do catch something… we choose what fish to keep or what to throw back.
But trying to reach out to the world in this way, will not… and does not work.
John Wesley once said, "I love a comfortable room… a soft cushion and a handsome pulpit… but field preaching saves souls."
Something to remember, Jesus did not save souls inside the synagogue. In fact, Jesus was shut out of the synagogue. Jesus took to the open road and in doing so, He save souls. Jesus taught the Disciples, who then went Fishing for men and women and they changed the world. And when you think about it, every one of us who calls ourselves a “Christian”,owes this to the Disciples, and all those Disciples after them through the centuries who cast their nets into deep waters. Nets in a metaphorical way that helped to connect people around the world to Christ. A Christian who then one day shared the Good News of Christ with you. So often, we focus everything we do as a community of faith inside the church building… even though the reality is… that everything Jesus did was outside in the world.
My friends, there is brokenness all around us in our world, there is brokenness that we all struggle with daily. However, Christ calls us to go out into deep water and fish for people. We are needed… just as we are… to help share the Good News of Christ and to help heal the brokenness.
Through Jesus Christ, we are called to let our neighbors around us know that there is love, grace, and a connection through this community of faith called the church. Let us this day, wherever we find ourselves out in the world, help heal the brokenness through the restoring love and power of Christ through all our words and actions of our lives.
Blessings, Pastor K