Sermon: January 25, 2009

25 01 2009

Now after John was arrested, Jesus came to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near, repent, and believe in the good news.” As Jesus passed along the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the sea — for they were fishermen. And Jesus said to them, “Follow me and I will make you fish for people.” And immediately they left their nets and followed him. As he went a little farther, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John, who were in their boat mending the nets. Immediately he called them; and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men, and followed him.

 

                                                Mark 1:14-20

 

             You know, I remember a long time ago when I was in graduate school, I was taking this class on basic Freudian Psychology.  I will never forget one of the things that the professor said.  He said that Freud believed that you needed two things in order for life to positive.  And, oh, by the way, these are two things that you have heard me mention before.  Freud said that 1) you needed to be in a relationship where you not only felt that you were loved but also where you could love.  2) You needed to feel that what you were doing with you life was worthwhile and important.

  

          I thought about that when I read this story in the Gospel of Mark.  Now the story seems to be about the call of Peter, James and John to be disciples of Jesus.  But you know as I read this story the first thing that popped into my mind was I wonder what Peter’s wife thought when he got home that night and told her that he was leaving his fishing business to follow Jesus. 

           

       Now remember this fishing business that was owned by Peter, James and John was not simply three guys with fishing poles.  No!  This was a large and profitable business that they owned.  They owned boats – five to be exact.  They owned nets.  A very expensive item into those days.  They owned a shipping business that took their fish to far away markets for sale.  Because of this Peter owned his own home – a multi-roomed home at that.  Something very unusual for anyone in those days.  If you were lucky to own a home, it was usually a one room house.  This tells us that Peter was doing well with his fishing business.  He was well on his way to being wealthy. 

           

     And then one day he walks into his house and tells his wife that he is leaving the business.  He is walking away from all of this.  Why?  Because some carpenter’s son from Nazareth has asked him to follow Him and be one of His disciples.  Why did Peter do it?  Why did James and John follow suit?  Why did these three guys leave everything – a profitable business – house and home – to follow Jesus?

 

           Well, I think that the answer to that question is found in something that Mark says in the opening verse of this Gospel Lesson.  Now after John was arrested, Jesus came to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God…  Jesus came proclaiming the Good News.  What was that Good News?  God loves you.  God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.  God loves you.

     

        Remember what we said before?  Freud said that everyone needs to feel like they are in a relationship where not only are they loved but where they can love.  Peter had just been introduced to the Good News.  Peter had just been introduced to the Good News that God loved him.  That was going to change his life forever.  God loves me.  Wherever my life might take me – whatever is going on in my life – wherever I happen to be – God loves me.  Wow!  How in the world could Peter simply go back to being a fisherman?  How could he simply go back to fishing?  This had changed his life forever.  Not only that but it changed what he wanted to do with his life.  He wanted everyone to feel like he now felt.  He wanted everyone to know this Good News.  He wanted everyone to feel this good inside.  How could he simply go back to fishing?

          

     Freud’s two pre-requisites were met in that moment that he met Jesus.  He now found himself in a relationship where not only did he know what love was but he could now love God in return.  And because of that he now knew what he wanted to do with the rest of his life.  He wanted everyone to feel this love.  He wanted everyone to know this Good News.  He wanted everyone to feel like he felt.  So he went home that night and told his wife that he was leaving everything.  He was going to go and fish for me.

   

         And now here’s where our part in the story comes in.  We now have heard the Good News.  We now know the love of God.  What are you going to do with it?  You see I think that God calls each and everyone of us to find ways to share this love.  Maybe God has called you to share His love by teaching children in a Sunday School class.  Maybe God has called you to share His love by singing in a choir or by playing in a Worship and Praise Band.  Maybe God has called you to share His love by being a Stephen Minister.  Maybe God has called you to share His love by bagging or by helping hand out groceries on Sunday afternoon.  Maybe God has called you to share His love by praying for friends.  You know I know someone in this church who keeps a list of all their friends on the refrigerator who need prayer – people who are sick or going through bad times – or simply people who don’t know Jesus as their Lord.  Every day she looks at this list and every day she prays for those friends.  Especially, she always tells me with a twinkle in her eye, those who don’t know Jesus, because she worries about them the most.  Maybe God has called you to share His love with a friend and tell them the Good News.

          

  For Peter the Good News was a life altering moment in time.  How has the Good News changed you?  With whom will you share it today?

 

Amen!

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