February 10, 2019: Net-Ripping Worthy

Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany

I was a “late adopter” of social media. As I observed others engaging Facebook and Twitter, it often appeared that the downside outweighed the good. However, as more sources began disseminating information via such platforms, I eventually broke down and entered the fray.

For me, the challenging aspect in so doing is determining whom to “follow.” Not everyone shares information that is worthy of my time, attention, and commitment. Therefore, determining whom to follow ultimately comes down to answering the question “Who is worthy enough to follow?”

In reality, however, that is not just a question for social media. It’s a question for life. In life, we must constantly ask ourselves who is worthy of receiving our commitment, loyalty, service, and followership.

In today’s Gospel lesson, we read Luke’s account of the calling of the first disciples, as Simon Peter, James, and John encounter Jesus in a miraculous manner. Confronted by his power and holiness, they make the decision that not only is Jesus worthy enough to follow; he is worthy enough for them to give up all that they have in order to follow him, including the greatest financial blessing that they have ever received: “And when they had brought their boats to land, they left everything and followed him” (Luke 5:11 ESV).

Speaking of the lesson Simon Peter learned in this encounter, pastor and author J. R. Briggs notes: “Peter learned that sometimes Jesus’ blessings are so great that they rip nets. He realized Jesus was worthy enough to follow, even if it meant walking away at the very moment of a significant financial increase.”

This week, reflect on the fact that even if we must leave behind all that we have, including net-ripping blessings beyond our wildest dreams, Jesus is more than worthy enough for us to follow. He demonstrated that on the cross.

Our Lamb has conquered; let us follow him.

Rusty Rushing, pastor, Peace Moravian Church
Charlotte, North Carolina