What I’m Thinking: Not Strangers

Did Jesus know his disciples before he called them? It’s not impossible – and what might it mean for us if he did?

Here’s a transcript:

I’m thinking about Jesus’ summons to his first traveling disciples, as Luke describes it in the fifth chapter of his gospel (Luke 5:1-11).

In recent years I’ve been wondering if Jesus knew any of that close group before we hear about their call. It’s not that unlikely. Jesus lived in Capernaum, and it’s a small town. Everybody knew everybody.

Luke actually makes it clear that Jesus could well have known them, because he told the story of Jesus healing Simon Peter’s mother-in-law before he gets to this story about Jesus telling Simon, “Follow me and I will make you fish for people.”

I find that notion somewhat comforting: that our summons from God, from Christ, from the Holy Spirit, does not come from someone who pops out of nowhere and disrupts our lives unexpectedly. But no: our summons from God, from Christ, from the Holy Spirit, comes from One who has known us intimately, closely, for some period of time.

Now our lives get just as disrupted: but they’re disrupted by One with a loving, knowing, and compassionate heart. One who knows very well that we are capable of being fishers for people, of being the kinds of leaders, the kinds of builders, the kinds of workers, the kinds of pray-ers, that we’re summoned to be.

Yes, Jesus walked up to Simon Peter on the beach and said, “Come with me and I will make you fish for people” – but when he did it, he knew what he was asking, and he knew the person of whom he was asking it.

That’s what I’m thinking. I’m curious to hear about what you’re thinking. Leave me your thoughts in the comment section below; I’d love to hear from you!

Categories What I'm Thinking | Tags: , , , , | Posted on February 3, 2019

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