“Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.”
“Come, follow me,”
“and I will send you out to fish for people.”
What Jesus came to do is not complicated. He came to bring light to darkness. Evil and all the bad stuff that comes along with it casts deep shadows across our world. We stumble in darkness. We hurt ourselves and each other groping and falling in the dark. Where's the light? Where's the switch, the torch, the match? It's Jesus.
Evil and its entourage draw the pall of hell over our lives. Christ comes and drives it away with but a glimpse of the glory of heaven. The kingdom of heaven did not come in its fullness when Christ came the first time. This was not the expectation of eager Jews, anticipating a Messiah who would set all things right and establish His Kingdom immediately. That comes later. But Jesus came with heaven's light, brought it near enough to woo us to repentance and faith, follow-ship and devotion. There is so much power in His single shaft of light that we are willing to stand steadfast on the world's midnight shore and shine as a beacon of heaven's haven.
Jesus' strategy is a simple one. He brings something of heaven near to capture the soul, makes it willing to turn from the things it is pursuing and turn to Him. That's repentance. Once captured, He continues to expose the soul to heavenly truths and experiences, enabling ease of absorption through the gift of His Spirit within us. Uniquely connected to Him in this way, we follow Him - in a going sense, in a thinking sense, in an imitative sense. That's discipleship. Then, as a true citizen of heaven we go out at His command as ambassadors of that kingdom. Or as Jesus said poetically to these fisherman, "I will send you out to fish for men." That calls for obedience.
Fishers of men, the lure is the light and Spirit of Christ in us. Our testimony of repentance and transforming discipleship is the line. And the presence of God working in and beside us is the strength that lifts them into the boat.
Let your light shine. When you come near me, may it be like the kingdom coming near me. "Thy kingdom come ... on earth as it is in heaven." Didn't you know that it comes through you? Tell your story. People don't want to hear your raw theology so much as they want to see it with flesh on. And be intentional about it. You were saved to be an instrument of salvation. You have been sent, Ambassador, Fisher of men.
Pray: Light of the World, you turned and taught your followers that they were also the light of the world. We are in this life-transforming, world-enlightening work together. Help me to turn from any evil way in me. Help me to follow You all the more closely. Help me to be obedient in my role as your representative in this place.