January 16, 2011

Where to Begin?

Matthew 4:12-22

“Come, follow me … and I will send you out to fish for people.”
Matthew 4:19


Where would you begin? The Messiah was kicking off his mission to save the world. John the Baptist, who had prepared the way for Jesus (Matthew 3), was now in prison. It was up to the King himself.

Flip around the question “What would Jesus do?” What would you do if you had to save the world? What would your message be? Who would you hook up with first?

I don’t think many of us would choose to start where Jesus did. If you wanted to start something big, Galilee was an unlikely launching pad. Why not Jerusalem? Or Rome? If you had to name the twelve tribes of Israel, Zebulun and Naphtali were two that you’d most likely forget. And what about Jesus’ message? “Repent”? Couldn’t he have been more positive? They say honey attracts more flies than vinegar. But then fish attract flies even quicker—but who takes fishermen seriously?

Jesus had a strategy, but we often miss it because we tend to focus only on the end result: his sacrifice to pay for our sin and give us new life. Yet his mission was also to find people far from God, to heal and equip them so they also would find, heal, and equip others in his name. He wasn’t just making a statement. He was starting a movement.

We can start making disciples for Jesus anywhere, anytime.

Master, thank you for finding me and paying my ransom. I want to be an active part of this movement you’ve begun. Show me how to connect with the lost for you. Amen.

About the author — Norm Prenger

Rev. Norm Prenger is a graduate of Calvin Theological Seminary. He pastored churches in Alberta and British Columbia before he was disabled by a heart attack and a post-operative stroke. He now lives with his wife, Gwen, near Thunder Bay, Ontario. He enjoys fishing, writing, drumming, and encouraging his fishing partners and neighbors to follow Jesus.

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