Epiphany III, 2023

Jesus walks the shores of Galilee and gathers men and women into his nets this week. We see four disciples, names we know so well, Peter, Andrew, James, and John abandon their boats and their nets to follow Him. I think Jesus was looking for these guys. He had, after all, spent a day with them before. Andrew was the disciple who followed Jesus last week and found Simon Peter his brother and brought him to Jesus. (Notice, Matthew tells us that this happens after John the Baptizer is imprisoned, so it must be after the events of John 1.) Jesus already knew these men. He is seeking these particular men who have already listened to Him on the shores of Galilee.

This is something Jesus does and something which all the Gospel writers point to as a sign of His being the Messiah. He gathers people. We will see multitudes flock to Him in subsequent chapters of Matthew’s Gospel account. We continue to see Jesus attract many. The other day at our circuit gathering, we were joined by the newest member of our circuit, a congregation of Ethiopian Lutherans. We joked that if we wanted to eat Lutheran food, we would not opt for casseroles and Jello salads, we would be eating tibs, injera, and doro wat, the traditional food of Ethiopia. There are far more Lutherans in Ethiopia today than there are in North America.

The point is that Jesus is still walking along and gathering folks to follow Him. He might be walking the shores of the Great Lakes or the Red Sea, but He is still out there gathering folks. He is gathering people through you. Expect His Word and voice to have a power and result which far exceed your expectation.

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