The Calling Of The Disciples
3rd Sunday of Epiphany:
Readings: -Amos 3:1-8
1 Corinthians 1:10-17
Jesus now begins His ministry to fulfill the task God the Father had assigned to Him, to fulfill what needed to be done. Hebrews 2:3 “how shall we escape if we ignore so great a salvation? This salvation, which was first announced by the Lord, was confirmed to us by those who heard him.” No one can save us but Christ, shedding His blood for all mankind. No longer a lamb but He Himself. John proclaimed Him as the “Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.” Nothing could be more powerful than the blood of God Himself. No animal could do this. When Christ went to the Cross, He died for us once and for all. Dying on behalf of all sin from Adam’s time until the last person to be born in the end. The enemy has been deceiving us but we know that God’s power is greater.
John witnessed the Trinity at the Baptism of Jesus. He saw the dove descending upon Jesus and He heard God’s voice from above. John had done his part in the Ministry by preparing the way. Jesus, after hearing of John’s arrest, went to Galilee. There is so much unity between Jesus and John even if both had different tasks. John preached about repentance, Jesus now comes to preach about God’s love through repentance. There was no competition between them at all. Churches today are not in unity. Some focus on the prosperity gospel. Others focus on something else. There is a need to bring back the very essence of what Christ should be- and that is the very center. Christ came to fulfill His ministry. There should be no competition. Unity should be in the Kingdom of God. Men may have different thoughts and ideas. Theologians may have different doctrines and ideologies. But there is only ONE important truth, which is Christ.
Jesus went into Naphtali, Zebulun, the Gentiles. He was showing us that He came for all. John may have proclaimed the Gospel for the Jews, because that was His mission. Christ came for the whole world. Nazareth rejected Christ. The people saw Him only as a carpenter’s son. So He went to Capernaum to minister. Jesus preached the same basic message of John to repent because there is only one voice. Jesus could have shared tremendous information because He knew so much but He preached repentance for people to return to God. That the Kingdom was at hand. Christ seeks those who will listen to Him to carry out His work. He chooses men who are not educated, and not the elite. Ordinary people. Those who have been through difficulties and hard times. He didn’t want weaklings but those who would be able to stand strong because they had been through tough times. He wasn’t looking for pampered individuals but men who knew how to fend for themselves. Men who did the work. Men who were willing to do things by themselves. Men who would find solutions to problems.
Times have changed and people have changed and have become weaklings. Christ, even though He knew He was going to undergo many difficulties, never complained or ranted. This is what He is teaching us today. We have been created in His image and likeness. He has made us to be overcomers, people who do not run away from problems or cower in fear. People who are able to turn a situation into good. So, He trains the disciples to teach the people with one message and one voice. The Holy Spirit is our best Teacher. These disciples were simple fishermen, but they were strong and willing to learn from Jesus. They immediately left their jobs to follow Christ. Peter, Andrew, James and John were the early ones called to follow Christ. For three whole years, they stayed with Christ learning from Him. They ate with Christ, listened to His teachings, followed Him wherever He went.
Jesus set a pattern for us to have compassion, tenderness, diligence and not to give up. The disciples were examples for us. The most important thing in their lives was Christ. Parents today invest so much in the world’s system, preparing our children in the ways of the world. But do we spend time teaching to them about God? About the necessity of following Christ? He said, “Follow Me.” He meant that we are to imitate what He did. We are to minister to the people, heal the sick, meet their needs. We need to challenge ourselves to be like Christ. The most important thing is Ministry to Him, by doing our task in bringing hope to mankind.