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Fishing for people? Sounds like a crazy sport!
Tom Wright tells a story to make sense of this Scripture in his book Lent For Everyone
“There’s a sense of excitement at the start of the season. The ground is prepared and marked out. The fixture list is printed. Everything is ready. So along you go for the first match. But imagine what it would be like if, just before the game was due to start, the coach came onto the pitch and began to point to people in the stands – people who had come as spectators! ‘All right: you over there, come on; and you in the blue jacket, you too; and you there hiding near the back, I want you in the team…’ You begin to be afraid you might be next. Suddenly the people who’ve been called are hurrying down to the field of play, and the game begins... When God came back at last, coming to establish the rule of heaven here on earth, that seems to be exactly how he went about it. Lots of people who thought they were just spectators suddenly found themselves summoned onto the field of play.”
(Excerpt from Tom Wright, Lent For Everyone: Matthew, Year A. London: SPCK, 2011, 7.)
In Matthew 4 we see Jesus invite Simon and Andrew to follow him. Jesus comes and heals the sick and the crowds gather around him. There are those who are just spectators checking out what is going on. In the same way there are those of us who sit on the sidelines as spectators, interested in the story of the Gospel, wondering whether or not to join in. Here in this passage we see that Jesus invites followers and he continues to do so. The Gospel story, the story of the kingdom of God being established is not a story we are to sit back and watch happen as spectators. Rather, Jesus extends an invitation to his people, “Follow me”. May we heed that invitation to follow this Lent.