Gerry Gutierrez' Update
"Jesus Teaching Fishermen to Fish".
Matthew 4: 18-22
Jesus the carpenter of Nazareth, strictly speaking, was a real "Fisher of Men".
Peter and Andrew were two brothers who were fishers of fish and they were in their place of work when Jesus came to them and said, "come, follow me," Jesus said, "and I will make you fishers of men". The beauty of the following verse is very moving and revealing about Jesus and his irresistible voice and personality.
“At once they left their nets and follow him.”
This happened in Galilee that even today Galilee is not a large city, people at the time of Jesus work only to survive. Their boat and their fishing net meant food and money to sustain their families.
In a city like New York, the call of Jesus would have been like the call to a banker to follow a poor man whose' only possession was his clothing and inner garment. What is more amazing about these fishers of fish is that they follow Jesus a carpenter and they did it immediately in a contagious way that others wanted to follow Jesus after their example.
When Jesus came to the boat of Zebedee, he saw two other brothers, James and John the sons of Zebedee. They were in a boat with their Father Zebedee preparing their nets. Jesus called them and immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him.
Let us for a moment use the figure of speech of Peter and Andrew as bankers and Jesus a poor man calling and being followed by them. Let us apply the idea of bankers also to James and John who were the heirs of Zebedee's boat and nets that represents secured income at their father’s death.
Leaving wealth to follow a poor man with two pieces of clothing and untied sandals to start a thankless job without salary? That in a high-risk new neighborhood full of sharks, alligator, poisonous snakes? Are you kidding me? Leave papa Zebedee and his yacht? Taking with me my best friend and likely to take with me my children and grandchildren including my Toddler Theodore? To leave my playpen, my buddies from our exclusive sand box?
What does anyone gain by following Jesus? If Jesus as he said to be the WAY, Once a man finds the way he needs an occupation while he walks the WAY. Jesus does not only teach you a skill but “MAKES” you a fisher of man.
How is being a carpenter make out of Jesus uniquely qualified to lead people? The fact of his qualification in not based on a scholarship and training on a renown school and the mastery of an skill, but the call of God that invested man with power and authority to transform a man into a new creation. Jesus as servant of God did not came to teach a trade or master a skill, but it came with the creative power of God TO MAKE us fishers of men. A disciple of Jesus is one capable to MAKE others “fishers of men”.
What about if Jesus dies? (Must have been the logical question of some follower?)
Well, at his death we can divide among ourselves his clothing into four shares among Peter, Andrew, James and John. What about the undergarment that is of one seamless peace woven from top to bottom? "That we will not tear it,” they said to one another. "We will decided by lot who will get it"
By the way, "all this happened that the scriptures might be fulfilled which said,
"They divided my garments among them and cast lots for my clothing." So this is what the Roman soldier did!
This is not only the story of four men who followed Jesus at his call to report for duty.
Scripture is true and infallible, "as a drop of water is equal to another drop of water, so is one man's heart equal to another man’s heart." This means that Peter, Andrew, James and John and the Roman soldiers at the feet of the cross of Jesus are basically as a small core of friends like. Billy Graham, Cliff Barrow, George Beverly Shea and Wilson or Ronald Regan, Lyn Nofziger, Edwin Meese and James Baker or Doug Coe, Roy Cook, Fred Haynes and Wes Anderson or Donald Trump, Melania, Ivanka and Kellyanne Conway.
If people from different places and generations are basically the same in their lives and relationships, it then is not an exaggeration to think that history repeats itself in some basic aspects in different circumstances and times. The actors may change but the drama is the same. The exam has the same question and the answers should be the same but are different because the preparation of the student or actors are different.
Now, let us go back to the heart of our meditation on the call of disciples and the clothing of Jesus "His only property". I am prepared to affirm that in this world of shame, it is all about clothing and covers of the humiliating nakedness of sin.
Let us remember that the very first thing God did after the fall of men in the Garden was to provide clothing for poor Adam and Eve who were covering their shame with fig leaves. Most observers paint Adam and Eve behind a bush or a branch conveniently covering their "private parts". Some other paint Adam and Eve clothed with brown garment of Grizzly Bear skin leaving together in tears and humiliation chased by a white dressed angel with a flaming sword.
Garments are important!
God does not mind being known as a tailor who sews our first parents’ blue jeans. Since the scripture is silence as to whom woven Jesus’ clothe as a one piece undergarment, I will credited to God the Father "tailor #1". At careful consideration, the garment is more important hat what one thinks at first sight. If I ever wanted something in life: It is the one-piece righteous garment of Jesus! The one and only true and priceless inheritance is the garment to those who leave it all to follow Jesus immediately.
No one dressed by man made clothing will pass the gates of heaven guarded by an angel with flaming sword. The dress code for the wedding of the Lamb of God in heaven is the white righteous garments of Jesus that believers inherit after the death and resurrection of Jesus. This garment belongs to the followers of Jesus by faith alone for responding to the call of Jesus, in a child like manner.
Men's greatest need in order to enter heaven is, “proper attire”. Not so much to cover his sins and the sins of his descendants lodged in his loins because they are no longer there since Jesus washed them away with his blood. No! The garment of righteousness of Jesus on us is our identity with Jesus, which facilitates our entrance to heaven as the bride of Jesus. The angel with flaming sword recognizes us as of Jesus and steps aside to let us go in. Leave it all to cleave unto Jesus and became on flesh covered by his own garment woven by God himself.
The Garment of Jesus has covered this witness from his many sins.