Evangelism: It’s Not Really About Fishing

We get a great glimpse of who Jesus is in the Gospel passage for Sunday, January 23, 2011.  We are still pretty much fresh on the scene in Matthew’s Gospel.  In fact, the introduction of Jesus’ personality and priorities continue to be unveiled.  To review:  Jesus begins his ministry with a baptism (at the Jordan river), a temptation (in the wilderness), and now, with a gathering of a few first disciples (Capernaum).

Throughout the centuries, many people have been stuck in the undercurrent (ha, ha) when it comes to this call story for Simon Peter, Andrew, James and John.  Why do I say this?  Because the point is not the fishing!  The point is that Jesus uses their everyday language to explain what he is up to.  These four follow, I believe, not because Jesus is so clever in his wording, but because–in using their everyday language–Jesus understands who Simon Peter, Andrew, James and John really are.

Evangelism is not about “luring.”  The call is not about “catching.”  The fishing metaphor is just that:  a metaphor.  Useful at times, but limited.  The Christian Gospel, as Jesus embodies it in Matthew 4, powerfully demonstrates that we have a God who is willing to speak our language to help us understand his will, and who, by doing so, beckons us to follow his ways. 

Calling God, call me in ways that I can hear and understand.  Amen.

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