My church is three weeks into a series called the New Testament Challenge. This series has two goals 1) that by the end of this 56 days I can spell testament right on the first try and 2) that our church would all read through the New Testament in 56 days.
It has already been an incredibly challenging and enlightening experience. It's been far to long since I've read straight through the gospels and this time God allowed me to see the greater themes Jesus preached about. So many of his teachings revolved around the dangers of pride and the value of humility. Dozens of times he tried to reach out for the intellectual classes (the Pharisees, Sadducees, etc.) but they refused to believe because of their pride. Recognition of Jesus would require them to relinquish their position of authority and most were too prideful to submit to that. Jesus didn't go to the fishermen because he wanted a band of hobo followers - he went to them because they were the only ones who showed true humility.
My friend Cora and I were sitting around talking about how much faith Peter, Andrew, James & John had when they left their nets and followed Jesus. Everything they knew they walked away from because they recognized the power and authority of Jesus. Then Cora said to me, "I wonder sometimes what my nets are? What are the nets I'm holding onto that Jesus is calling me out of?"
I thought that was a great question. We as Christians can run the whole spectrum from leaving all of our nets and running after Jesus to being like the Pharisees and rejecting the call of Christ because of our pride and unbelief. I'm sure at some point in my walk I've been at all stages along that spectrum, but I'm hoping today I'm at least reasonably close to the side with the fishermen. Still, I know I have many nets, for example my job, my comfortable house, my collection of college hoodies (ok... i doubt God really cares about my hoodies, but I'm quite attached to them and it would be difficult to part with them so please don't send me on What Not To Wear because I know they would take them) that if God called me away from them, how quickly would I really respond? The disciples didn't hesitate, would I have the same response?
Interesting things to ponder...
What are your nets?
9 months ago