Sunday, 10 January 2016

See Potential - Luke 5:1 - 11

Incredible things are possible because God is with Us! Both the Christmas story and the promise given in Matthew 28:20. This is Jesus, God walking in everyday life among His own creation.

Whether it is dusty streets or sandy beaches crowds are attracted to hear the news of God's Kingdom. He could have directed everybody to the synagogue, but this is Jesus - so he sees an opportunity and requisitions Simon's boat. Relying on Simon to host him for this shoreline preaching we see 'Incarnational Mission' at work - using what people have from which to proclaim the Kingdom in their own context.

Beyond the preaching Jesus has further work to do with Simon and others in the boat, and starts with a chat about fishing. This is Jesus, using the everyday things of the people he is working with. Simon & co. know fishing, but Jesus enters their world and uses it to demonstrate signs of the Kingdom. Large amounts of fish are caught!

For any fisherman this is just too good, and Simon realises that this is Jesus and he is an unworthy man. There is a clear difference between them, and for Simon this provokes a sense of discomfort. But this is Jesus - in such a crises moment Jesus has buckets of grace and invites Simon to come with him. Thats what Jesus does - he shows the Kingdom and calls people to follow, to join in.

Yet there is more, since after all this is Jesus. He prophesies into Simon's life, affirming him with a new preferred name: 'Peter' (Greek 'Petros' - 'Rock'). Jesus sees the potential in Simon Peter and speaks it into his life.

So throughout this story we see Jesus - but the simple teaching point of today is that this too can be us, by following his example, doing as he did. Let us go out into the everyday world and tell of the Kingdom of God, using the opportunities we find in front of us, with ordinary things giving us our platform from which to declare the Kingdom.

Let us identify those who can host us and enter their world, find their language in which to demonstrate Kingdom signs. It will require us to have discernment (see the key question from last week), and we will need to be people of the Spirit for others to see the Kingdom through our engagement with them. Yet incredible things are possible (God with us, remember!), though this will inevitably lead to people becoming aware of difference which they may find uncomfortable.

Let us in those moments extend invitation with oodles of grace. Let us see the God-given potential in people, and allow the Spirit to speak prophetically into lives as we affirm people in their early discipleship steps.

Let us be like Jesus, and do discipleship like he did.

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