Monday, December 23, 2013

Fishers of Men (Paraphrase of Chapter 2 of The Training of the 12 by AB Bruce) - part 5

These humble fishermen did not follow Jesus out of boredom. They were hard working, industrious men. They also did not follow Him out of some sense of discontent. They really did not have reason for discontent. The family of James and John seem to have been doing quite well. Mark states that, when called by Jesus, they left their father in the ship with the hired servants.

What about selfish ambition? Did they leave everything to follow Jesus out of ambitious motives? Later in the gospels we do see the disciples display the ugly human desire to become great, but not here. Ambition needs a temptation. It will not join a cause that is obscure or struggling. Ambition usually manifests itself when success is assured. Jesus’ ministry had not reached that stage.

There really is only one explanation for why they followed Jesus. Their hearts were ignited. Their heads were turned by the dream of a divine Kingdom in Israel with Jesus of Nazareth as its King. That dream possessed them and ruled their minds and shaped their destinies. It compelled them, like Abraham, to leave their family and their home, and to go forth on what might have appeared beforehand to be a fool’s errand. How wonderful for us that they were possessed by the idea of this Kingdom! It was not the errand of fools that they left their nets for. The Kingdom turned out to be as real as the promised land although not in the way they had imagined.

These fishermen of Galilee did become fishers of men on the most extensive scale and by the help of God, they gathered many souls to the church and to salvation. In a sense, they are still casting their nets into the world and by their testimony they continue to help multitudes become His disciples.

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