Saving Grace

Jesus wants you as you are

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, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” 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. – Matthew 4:18-22

Putting together a good team is not an easy task. The members of that team must interact as a unit for it to perform at its utmost potential.

Sunday past was the third Sunday after the Epiphany. The text tells us that Jesus was going along the seashore putting together his team. He chose ordinary people for his team. There were no superstars amongst the group of men he picked.

In fact, those men he called apostles were unknown. There were no scholars on his team. Just ordinary people. Yet he took that group of ordinary men and turned them into superstars.

After John had been imprisoned, Jesus left Jerusalem and returned to Galilee. This area was more cosmopolitan. The people around the area called the Decapolis, were of mixed races and groups of people. Consequently, Jesus established his base around the Sea of Galilee.

When Jesus began his ministry, he set out to put together his team; a dynamic team. Jesus could have gone to the temple and places where the great scholars were to field his team, but he did not.

Instead, he went for a walk through the neighborhood and called his team members from among their neighbors. He knew what he was looking.

Granted, his team members were not great scholars and outstanding men of the community.

They were men who would be open to his teaching, and were ready to go wherever he sent them, without questioning his reasoning.

The men he searched out and called did not even know their own potential. However, Jesus knew what they were capable of doing. He knew that they could become superstars.

On his team, he had fishermen, tax collectors, militants, and even a crook and a cheat, Judas, the one who betrayed him. Yes, just ordinary people whom he turned into the most dominating team ever assembled.

When they got the call, they did not hesitate. They left everything – their jobs, boats, nets, tax boxes, and family to follow Jesus. What about you?

As we celebrate the season of Epiphany, Jesus still calls ordinary people. He searches for people like you and me to be on his team. We don’t have to be popular, or brilliant, or highly spoken of. Whatever our disposition, Jesus can use us.

Like those fishermen by the Sea of Galilee, he calls us to come and follow him. Be his disciple and tell people about his message of grace and forgiveness.

Yes, the kingdom of God is at hand. People need to hear that. They need to hear about the Christ of Calvary. The people of the world need to hear of he who died in our stead and rose again on Easter that we might have life and have it more abundantly.

Are you ready to join Jesus’ team? He is calling today. He wants you as you are. He can take the most mediocre of us and turn us into superstars. That is what he did with the no-name followers from around the Sea of Galilee. Amen.

• Reverend Samuel M. Boodle, pastor at the Lutheran Church of Nassau, 119 John F. Kennedy Dr can be reached at P.O. Box N 4794, Nassau, Bahamas; or telephone 426-9084; website:  

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