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Preachers and their listeners

Luke 5:1-11

Pastor David Ernst

Fifth Sunday after Trinity
Epiphany Lutheran Mission of La Caramuca  
Barinas, Venezuela

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Sun, Jul 21, 2019 

Grace and peace in our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

In our reading of the Old Testament (1 Kings 19: 11-21) and in our gospel for today, we have examples of the divine call to the ministers of the church. In the Old Testament, the call of the Elisha the prophet; in our gospel, of the first disciples of Jesus, Simon Peter, John and James, the sons of Zebedee. In a sense, these stories do not apply to all believers, because not all believers are called to leave everything to follow the Lord. But, for the prophets and the apostles, such was their vocation.

In the first case, Elijah had been the prophet of the Lord for a long time. However, he felt discouraged and isolated. “I have felt a lively zeal for Jehovah God of hosts; because the children of Israel have left your covenant, have broken down your altars, and have killed your prophets with the sword; and only I have stayed, and they look for me to take my life. ”

Elijah was called to preach the Word of God. However, for what purpose is a preacher without listeners? Not everyone is called to be a preacher because most people should hear the Word of God. For Elijah, it seems that no one wanted to hear the Word, so he was discouraged and tired.

God spoke to Elijah not in the wind, earthquake or fire, but in a soft and delicate voice. And He told Elijah that there would always be those who want to hear the Word of God, and always be those who preach the Word of God.

“Go, go back your way, through the desert of Damascus: and you will arrive, and you will anoint Hazael as king of Syria; and to Jehu son of Nimsi, you shall anoint king over Israel; and to Elysium son of Safat, of Abel-Mehola, you shall anoint to be a prophet in your place. And it will be, whoever escapes from Hazael's sword, Jehu will kill him; and whoever escapes from the sword of Jehu, Elysium will kill him. But I have made seven thousand to remain in Israel, whose knees did not bend before Baal, and whose mouths did not kiss him. ”

And Elisha left everything. “Then he left the oxen, came running after Elijah, and said: I beg you to let me kiss my father and my mother, and then I will follow you. And he said to him: Go, come back; What have I done to you? And he turned from after him, and took a pair of oxen, and killed them, and with the plow of the oxen he cooked their flesh, and gave it to the people and they ate. Then he got up and went after Elijah, and served him.” Later the narrative says, God took Elijah to heaven in a chariot of fire, and he left his mantle to Elisha to receive a double portion of the Spirit of God.

Our Lord Jesus Christ had another problem: too many listeners. "And it came to pass, that while He was by the lake of Genezareth, the multitude crowded upon Him to hear the word of God." Jesus was true man, therefore He was overwhelmed. However, His Father guided Him to the men who could help him in His mission and one day continue the mission: Fishermen on the shore of the Sea of Galilee.

“And He saw two boats that were near the shore of the lake; and the fishermen, having descended from them, washed their nets. And He entered one of the boats, which was that of Simon, and he begged him to set out from the shore a little; and sitting down, He taught the crowd from the boat. ”

After teaching the crowd, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Launch offshore, and cast your nets to fish." Pedro had a lot of experience in his boat at sea and a lot of confidence in his skills and knowledge. He knew that near the shore was not the best place to fish.

“And Simon answering said to him, Master, we have worked all night, and we have caught nothing; But in your word I will cast the net. And having done so, they locked up a lot of fish, and their net was breaking. And they signaled to the companions who were in the other boat to come to help them; and they came, and they filled both boats, so that they sank. ”

Pedro was scared. Because Jesus showed his power over the life of Simon Peter. He relied on his own skills and knowledge in his work, like many of us. But, from whom comes success at work and who has control over our lives? God.

Then, Peter said to Jesus, “Depart from me, Lord, because I am a sinful man. Because fear had surrounded him, and all who were with him, because of the prey of the fish they had taken; and also to James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were Simon's companions. ”

But, the Lord said to them, "Do not fear; from now on you will fish for men." Jesus showed with how many fish He could fill their nets. He could give them the same success as fishers of men. Therefore, "when they brought the boats ashore, leaving everything, they followed."

Now, then, the Lord does not have the same task for all believers. Only some are called to leave everything to preach the Word publicly and administer the sacraments. This is for the welfare of others, those who receive forgiveness and new life. And the purpose of hearing the Word and receiving the sacraments is to bear fruit in their daily lives. Those who have received the love of God can do nothing but share the love of God with their families, neighbors and co-workers.

All of us are the people of God. We are the royal priesthood, because we can approach God with our requests and thanksgiving, and intercede for others. In this sense, all believers are priests of God. Because the message of salvation must be proclaimed to the ends of the earth, some believers must leave their families and businesses, but not everyone.

At the time of the Reformation, the concept of the church was the holy man should be of the clergy of the church and celibate. The work of ordinary people had no value in God's eyes, not to be parents of a family. On the contrary, said Martin Luther, it is more important to be parents and good neighbors than monks or nuns. Because the commandment says, Honor your father and mother for a long life. Children are blessings of God. Also, good work in the community testifies to God's love and moves people to glorify God. We are all the saints of God in our daily life.

The preachers are the fathers in the house of God, also the fathers in their own houses have the responsibility to teach their children in the Word of God, according to God's design. Sadly, many men do not take these responsibilities seriously. But, family studies indicate that the male figure in the house is very important. The mother gives birth and takes care of the children physically, but the father is the source of the values. What makes the difference between families in which young people attend church or do not attend church is a father who attends church.

Thus the church grows: The public ministry sows the Word of God, but the fruits of faith are found in the lives of believers. And even the prophets, the apostles, even the Lord himself, felt discouraged, weary and overwhelmed. But, God always gives success in everything. God gives us the victory and in that it is the peace that surpasses all understanding. Amen.

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