Our staff was greatly encouraged the other day as we pondered this passage. In it we see Jesus preaching the Word of God to the crowds in Galilee. This was in fulfillment of His stated purpose in the previous chapter (4:43). As the scene begins Jesus enters a boat by the lake and asks the fishermen to thrust out from land so He can properly address the crowd.
But what really gets our attention is that after preaching to the crowd, Jesus directs His attention to what seems insignificant to the story–the fishermen. Weren’t they simply there to provide the boat He needed to speak to the masses? If this was a novel, these fisherman and their boats would be considered incidentals. Something added by the novelist only for purpose of the scene and the main character’s actions in it. But this isn’t a novel. This is our God.
Not only does Jesus direct His attention to these “insignificant” fisherman, but after a miraculous display of His power, He calls THEM to be His disciples.
In children’s ministry or any ministry for that matter, there can be a tendency to see ourselves and the other workers as simply incidentals. After all, there is the huge mission field out there. Masses who need to hear the name of Christ. Isn’t that what it’s all about? Isn’t that the focus. Our job is simply to be instruments of the great work He is accomplishing out there among the nations. Sit down, be quiet and do your job.
What this passage reminds us is that God’s concern for “the world” is never at the expense of His concern for the individual. We are more than just instruments, we are more than just slaves, we are His redeemed children. We are greatly loved by Him. The same God, Whom we ARE to declare to the children and to the nations, He cares about you and the things that no one else knows about. He is accomplishing His work not only through you, but in you as well.
That’s a better story than any novel I know.