Luke 5:1 While the people pressed upon him to hear the word of God, he was standing by the lake of Gennesaret.
Sometimes we are not certain that people will want to hear the Word of God, they might not like it, and because of that often we are silent. The question is why? Why do we believe that people might be offended by the Word of God? Is there any real reason for us to be silent? I donít think so.
Now there may be excuses, but those are not real reasons. One of the chief excuses is that when the Word of God speaks to us, one of the things it does is show us our sins. We donít like to see our sins, nor do we want to think about the consequences of our sins, such things make us uncomfortable, for the wages of sin is death, and we know that hell is not a comfortable place.
While it is not pleasant to hear the law showing us our sin, there is always more to the Word of God than just law. And since God wrote the law on the hearts of all people, so that even without the word of God, they have heard the law which convicts them of sin Ė donít you suppose that most people would like to hear the rest of the story, and hear also the Gospel, about God at working bringing salvation ?
Consider that when John the Baptist was preaching "Repent, for the Kingdom of God is near." People from all over were going out to hear him, and to be baptized. Why, because they heard a simple message, God has a plan for your life. Life has purpose, life has meaning, and God will reveal to you your purpose, and the meaning of your life. And that is what all people want to know and want to hear all about, even if part of the message is one that calls us to turn from sin.
You see, in the world there are many people who have already tried to spend their lives having fun, but it hasnít made them happy. Many people have already tried doing everything necessary to be successful, but they found no satisfaction. Many people have already tried to accumulate all manner of good things, but they have found no contentment. Many people have already tried everything that the world says is the answer, and have found in it no answers, only emptiness. And because they already know that they ways of the world are vain and empty -Ė they want to hear about a better way, they want to hear about a divine plan and purpose.
That is why the people were pressing to hear Jesus back when he walked on the earth, and that is why people are joining cults today Ė because they are not afraid to say, this is what God demands, and this is Godís plan. We know that cults are not a good place to learn about Jesus, or about Godís plan for our lives Ė but when Christians are silent, where else can the world turn?
But why are Christians silent? Again, there may be excuses, but there are not good reasons. For God has come to each one of us, and has called us by name, and has also spoken to us these words -- "Follow me!" Those words should be some of the most exciting words we have ever heard, God comes to us, calls us, chooses us and invites us to follow.
Not when Jesus called the first disciples, the first thing that they did was to tell there friends, Jesus has called me to follow him. And when those friends said, who then is this Jesus, these early disciples would say, come and see Ė and so they brought many more people to Jesus that they might learn of Godís plan for their lives. And thatís how the church grew, each time a new person would be brought in, they would tell all their friends, and invite them to come and meet Jesus, and to hear of Godís great plan of life and salvation.
Our story ends with a fishing story. Jesus took the disciples (who were fisherman) fishing, and they caught so many fish that it just about sank the boat. Then Jesus called them to follow him, and to be fishers of men. And the disciples left the boat, the nets, and the fishÖ. They left everything, and followed him. May we also recover the excitement of Godís love and grace, and of God at work in and around us, that we too might follow, and might tell others the good news of salvation which is ours in Jesus name.