Monday, November 17, 2008

How many did you catch?

Back in the spring of 08 I had the opportunity to go to Augusta National to watch a practice round for the Masters golf tournament. For those of you who play golf I think you can truly appreciate this. For those of you who do not play golf you can equate it to going to the Super Bowl, the World Series, the Stanley Cup, etc, etc. As soon as we walked through the gate we looked for a marshal and asked where Tiger Woods was. He pointed in the direction of the 18th tee box. When we turned and looked where he pointed we could not help but notice the hundreds of flashes going off at the tee box. It reminded me of a strobe light at a disco they were going off so fast. After Tiger hit his tee shot the crowd began to swell around the fairway. Everyone was pushing and straining to get a good look at Tiger as he walked to his shot. The people in the crowd were curious about what kind of shoes he was wearing, were they a new model Nike had just come out with. What about his golf ball, was it a new prototype that would go longer and straighter that its predecessor? What was he and his caddy Steve talking about. What club was he going to use and how close to the flag would he put it. As the people following him from the tee box met the people who were waiting for him at the green they merged into a crowd of several hundred people swarming around him like bees around a hive.

As I look back on this experience Matthew 4:19 came to mind - Come follow me and I will make you fishers of men. The Greek for Come, follow is deute (come) opiso (behind). In other words, I will lead and you follow. I will show you then you do it. I am going fishing for men, if you come behind me I will make you fishers of men also. What would this verse look like if I applied it to the above scene at the Masters. We could watch Tiger Woods all day long, we could listen to his conversations with his caddy, learn his strategies, and wear his shoes. But if we never put a club in our hand and begin swinging we will never play like Tiger.

Jesus has showed us how to make fishers of men. In Matthew 4:1-11 Jesus fought satan with scripture. Notice how Christ rebuts satan's temptations with "it is written...". We have to memorize God's word. Psalm 119:11 - I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. Second Jesus showed up that we must serve. In John 13:3-17 Jesus washes the disciples feet. Christ came to serve not to be served. Finally, Christ spoke. He told people what they must do to be saved. For many of us this is the hard part. But imagine how things might have turned out if Christ never told people how they can have a right standing before God. Imagine if all he did was committed God's word to his heart, fed the hungry and clothed the naked. He would be loving people straight to hell. We can do all kinds of "good things" for people but the most important thing we can do is to share the Good News with them.

If you have ever been on a fishing trip and you and your friends split up to find the best fishing hole, as soon as you get back together the first question is usually "How many did you catch?". I sometimes wonder when we get to heaven is God going to say "How many did you catch?" I showed you how to be fishers of men, How many did you catch?

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