Holiday Club 2022: Tuesday - What did Jesus do and say?
by Rev Jacky Quarmby 26 July 2022
In this reading, Jesus starts to build his team – that group of young men who will listen to him, learn from him and carry on his work long after Jesus has gone. Here Jesus calls the fishermen Peter, James and John.
Jesus has already begun his ministry. At the synagogue in Nazareth he read Isaiah’s words
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed and to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.” Jesus then stunned everyone by claiming that those words were fulfilled that day in him.
Powerful claims – but would Jesus be able to deliver on them – or would he be like so many leaders and politicians, full of grand words but short on actions to support them? Well, after leaving the Synagogue, Jesus travelled to Capernaum and there in the synagogue was a man possessed by an evil spirit – “Come out of him,” said Jesus – and the spirit left the man. News of the miracle healing travelled fast and soon crowds were gathering, bringing Jesus their sick friends and relatives. And Jesus laid hands on them and healed them. One by one the blind were given their sight, the sick were set free from the diseases that imprisoned them, the disturbed were released from the mental illnesses that oppressed them and weighed them down. Truly Isaiah’s words were being fulfilled.
In the reading from Luke 5, Jesus is standing by the lake of Gennesaret. The crowds are so thick that Jesus commandeers a fisherman’s boat so that he can push out from shore – and teach people the word of God, without being overwhelmed by the crowds. It is Simon Peter’s boat.
After Jesus has finished teaching – Jesus tells Simon Peter to push the boat out and let down the nets. It makes no sense – as the fishermen have caught nothing all night – but Jesus is asking Simon Peter, “Do you trust me? Are you willing to do what I ask, even if it seems to make no sense to you?” And Simon says “yes, because you say so, I will let down the nets.” Well, when the nets are brought up, they are almost breaking with the weight of fish. Because when we say “yes” to Jesus, even when things seem unpromising, God can do amazing things.
After that, Peter, James and John leave their nets and follow Jesus. The disciples are called not simply to sit at his feet and study his words or to listen to Jesus’ philosophies on life – but to follow him … to watch what he does, to see how he behaves and to follow his example. Jesus is the way, the truth and the life – we need to listen to his words of truth and walk in his way, if we are to take hold of the life that is really life.
Today, we are reminded that children learn more from what we are, than from what we teach. It is our example that convinces others of the truth of what we say. It is our joy in our relationship with Jesus and our trust in him, that will convince children that Jesus is real, that Jesus loves us and that Jesus can be trusted. And so we pray today that our love and commitment to Jesus will encourage the children that we meet to follow Jesus and deepen their own faith in him.
Song: So glad
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Let us pray,
Loving God, we thank you that you love each one of us
We thank you that you are working in each of our lives
We thank you that by listening to Jesus
And by seeking to walk in his way
You have blessed our lives in ways we could never have imagined.
We pray today that you will grant the leaders patient, joyful and loving hearts
As they lead the children through the stories and crafts and activities
And we pray that as we throw the nets overboard
That you will help us to “catch” young hearts for you
Just as you helped the disciples so many years ago.
For we ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen