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Going Around In Circles

**Follow Me...** (Matthew 14:20).
Jonah 3:1-5,10; Psalms 25:4-9; I Corinthians 7:29-31; Mark 1:14-20

Sermon Topic Followers

Sermon Week Third Sunday in Ordinary Time Cycle B

Scripture Summary Matthew 14:20


A famous Christian preacher was asked by his bishop to deliver a sermon in a huge cathedral. Long before the sermon was to begin, more than three thousand persons had filled the cathedral to capacity. Loudspeakers were hooked up so that the sermon could be heard by thousands more standing outside. "Just look at that crowd," said the bishop to the preacher. "How many disciples would you say are out there?" "Three or four, perhaps," the preacher replied.

How many disciples would you say are here today? How do we distinguish between routine "Church-goers" and Christian disciples? Who among us is here for some vague reason, such as "It's the thing to do once a week"? And who among us is here seeking further direction on how to follow Christ more closely, more sincerely -- how to love Him more dearly? Who can say? Such judgments are not for us to make -- with one all-important exception. Each of us can pass judgment in this regard on ourselves: "What am I doing here?"

In today's Gospel Lesson, Jesus selects His very first disciples -- four of them, in fact. Mark tells us that Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming "the Good News from God," and saying, "The time has come, and the Kingdom of God is close at hand. Repent, and believe the Good News" (Mk. 1:14-15). Then He walked along the shore of the Sea of Galilee "where He saw Simon and his brother Andrew" who were fishing. "Follow Me," He said to them. And at once they followed Him. He then spotted two more fisherman -- James and John -- and they too immediately accepted His invitation to follow Him.

Perhaps it seems not a little strange that Jesus chose His disciples in this way. He didn't call a meeting. He didn't ask for resumes. He didn't advertise: "DISCIPLES WANTED." Rather, He spoke to them about moving from fishing-for-fish to fishing-for-men. In other words, He recognized them for who they are -- fishermen -- and what they are doing with their lives -- fishing. They were being invited to follow Him in [...]

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