The world is getting stranger and stranger by the day.
Things really started getting weird when a “healer” came to town and set himself up on a nearby street corner. Every kook in the county was there. They claimed that blind people got back their sight, deaf people could hear again, and even paraplegics got up and walked. The word on the street was that the “Christ” had arrived.
Now, I’m just as spiritual as the next guy. I believe in God, I pray, I have a Bible. Once-in-a-while I’ve even gone to church, but these healings are either fakes for publicity or some kind of mass-hysteria. Everybody needs something bigger to believe in.
Last Tuesday this “Christ” showed up at Kinneret Point with a mob of his groupies. The story is that he walked right up into one of the boats and started preaching to the crowds on the shoreline. The harbor master called the police, but there were just too many people involved for the police to do anything.
After about an hour, the “healer” told – not asked, but told – the fishermen to put the boat out to sea and drop the net. These guys had just finished cleaning and mending their nets after being out all night when the Christ showed up.
The captain, a guy named Simon, said they’d been out all night and hadn’t caught anything. Times are tough on the local fishermen with the new government regulations, but this Christ seemed so insistent, Simon was afraid of a boycott and set the boat out. His men dropped the net, and if you can believe the story, it was immediately filled with so many fish the net began to break. He called another boat to come out and help. Both boats were so full of fish that they nearly sank! True! I saw the story on the 5 o’clock news.
The reporter interviewed Simon and his two partners. In more than twenty years of fishing they’d never seen anything like it before.
A professor from the university said that it was just a freak school of fish Christ’s followers baited with chum earlier in the day to stir up publicity. Could be, but it convinced the fishermen. Simon and his partners shut down their business the next day and sold everything to become followers of this new Messiah.
What would motivate “normal” businessmen to leave everything behind and follow a street preacher? One of my friends says it’s just a gimmick to make easy money off the gullible. Others think things are so bad that people are looking for anybody to come along and save us from this mess.
Honestly, I don’t know what to think. But for me, I’m more than happy working for the IRS. It’s great money, the hours aren’t bad, and I get a kick making people squirm. My job doesn’t make me popular, but since when have I wanted to be popular? There are more important things than popularity: six figures for instance.
But I keep wondering what I’d do if He came by and said, “Matthew, Follow Me.” What would make me walk away from my job, my money, my family, my home … everything, to follow Him? Oh, well, it’ll never happen to me. Why would this Jesus want a guy like me anyway?
Then Jesus passed on from there, He saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax office. And He said to him, “Follow Me.” And he arose and followed Him (Matthew 9:9).