I was never good at history at school. I hated learning facts. Who cares about what happened when! But I loved learning how things work. My two best subjects were maths and biology. In my nursing training it was the same – I hated anatomy and loved physiology. I enjoyed learning how the body works.
Jesus told His disciples, “Follow me and I will make you fishers of men,” but He didn’t explain how He would do it. So I asked myself, “How would Jesus teach them how to catch people? What bait would He use?”
If you walk with Him and listen to Him through the pages of the gospels you will very soon catch on to the way He “fished” for people Let’s do a little trip with Him through Mark’s Gospel.
The first thing He told people when He emerged from His great test in the wilderness was, “God is here.” How did He know? Because He had just spent forty days in a horrible place, hot by day, cold at night, no shelter, no food or water, full of snakes, spiders, scorpions and creepy crawlies and wild animals of all kinds. How did He survive? God was with Him just like He was with children of Israel in their wilderness experience.
What difference would it make to you if you really knew that God was with you? Not mad with you, just with you to comfort, support and help you every day? Would you go for that bait?
What about the “bait” of a Father who cares enough about His children to provide for their daily needs, to heal them when they are sick, to set them free from their guilt, shame and fear, to chase off pesky demons and to give them something to live for?
The religious leaders were only too keen to lay the burden of rules and rituals on the people. Jesus offered them rest from that stuff by teaching them and showing them that life with God is not about trying to please God so that He would like them. It’s about celebrating God because He already likes them.
People were full of religion which did nothing for them, Jesus told them about a non-religious Father who had already done everything for them. Jesus loved the poor, the outcast and the “sinner” and showed them how much God loved them.
By watching and listening, His disciples eventually caught on and, when the Holy Spirit came on them at Pentecost, they had a full box of “bait” to go out and catch men.
People won’t bite on religion but they are irresistibly drawn to loving and caring people who imitate Jesus.
Have you read my new book, Learning to be a Son – The Way to the Father’s Heart (copyright 2015, Partridge Publishing)? You’ll love it!