Network

As Jesus was walking by the lakeside along the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon, later called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were fishermen and they were casting their nets into the lake. “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” At once they left their nets and followed him. Going on from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John. 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.

Mathew 4, 18 – 22

Dear readers,

Jesus, the Messiah, continues his redemptive work. In Galilee, he begins to bring salvation to men. But it was not supposed to stay that way. All people should know that they are loved by God. All people should come to the realization of this truth.

The Apostle Paul writes: “God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of truth. For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Jesus Christ, who gave himself as a ransom for all people. This message should now be proclaimed, because the time, which God has chosen, is with us now.” (1 Timothy 2, 4 – 6)

To make known the best news of all time, Jesus Christ calls people into His service. They should testify to others: „Beyond all question, the mystery from which true godliness springs is great: Jesus appeared in the flesh, was vindicated by the Spirit, was seen by angels, was preached among the nations, was believed on in the world, was taken up in glory.” (1 Timothy 3, 16)

From this mystery of faith, people like Peter and Andrew, James and John were chosen to tell in the future. These four were no theologians, not V.I.P´s., but ordinary workers who made their living as fishermen. Jesus calls ordinary fishermen into his service, no experts in religious matters.

Peter, Andrew, James and John however, were  experts  in another profession: they could tie fishing nets. A fishing net consists of knotted strings. Where the threads converge, a knot is created. This is similar to the Internet. Internet is a huge network of computers. Frankfurt is an internet hub. This is where the information flows from all over the world come together.

Jesus begins to make his "Network of Witnesses" with these four fishermen. He is gradually adding men and women. It should become a network of God's love. It should become a network of people who are connected through the Lord Jesus Christ. They are interconnected through faith, hope and love for Jesus Christ and fellow human beings.

Wherever Christians come together, they are joined by Jesus Christ himself. Through him, Christians become a living community, growing its worldwide church. People who were strangers, become sisters and brothers. People who had nothing to do with each other belong together through Jesus Christ as one big family.

The secret of this bond is unity with Jesus Christ. The apostle Paul describes it this way: „So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Galatians 3, 26 – 28)

The four fishermen became a small group. I know many communities where there are small groups. They call themselves Bible circles or house circles. Women and men meet regularly to share their beliefs. They read the Bible and let themselves be inspired by God's word. They sing and pray together. They support each other, comfort in times of need. Where, if not in small groups, one can learn to accept each other as Jesus Christ accepted us (Romans 15: 7).

I encourage you to join a small group in your community! And if you do not have a home circle or a discussion group, why don`t you start one? Do not hesitate! Make a first step to establish a network. And I am convinced that God will bless your courage.

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© 2020 Hans-Peter Nann, Frankfurt am Main