Take Peter: There’s nothing wrong with being a fisherman.
There’s nothing wrong with being a tenth generation Sea of Galilee fisherman at all.
But it is predictable. Even if it is necessary.
But along comes Jesus and calls Peter to follow.
It’s not to diminish Peter’s family tradition at all.
But it is to raise Peter to levels of ultimate meaning; eternal significance. Peter was called.
Take Matthew. There’s nothing wrong with being a taxman.
We all love paying our taxes.
There’s nothing wrong with collaborating with the occupying Roman military, per se.
As much as raking in the dosh was predictable, it was necessary, and lucrative.
But along comes Jesus and calls Matthew to follow.
This is not to diminish or despise his chosen human calling at all.
But it is to raise Matthew to levels of ultimate meaning; eternal significance. Matthew was called.
There was an eagles nest high up in the tree.
One day if fell out the nest and to the ground, landing on soft straw so it didn’t smash.
The egg had landed among the chickens pecking around on the ground.
Very soon the eaglet hatched.
He looked around, saw all the chickens and, began copying what they do.
The walked here and there, pecking.
Some would run and flap and nearly fly, but it never lasted; then they carried on pecking.
So as the eaglett grew into an eagle, he simply acted like a chicken.
He pecked and ran and jumped and flapped, then pecked some more.
He looked a little different, but that thought never lasted (think: Mowgli in The Jungle Book).
One day he stopped pecking at the ground and looked up.
A shadow momentarily caught his attention, and as he looked up he saw something majestic.
A creature that looked a lot like him, flying high, soaring above the earth.
The eagle let out an almighty screech, as if to beckon the founded eagle.
Eventually the eagle launched upwards to the other eagle, and they flew off together.
Just as Peter was not meant to remain a fisherman, but a disciple of Jesus Christ;
Just as Matthew was not meant to remain a tax-collector, but a disciple of Jesus Christ;
So the eagle was not meant to remain a chicken.
There was a greater destiny; a grander purpose; He was made to fly; to soar.
In John 6:66, no more apt a reference for what we read.
“From this time, many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him.”
They remained chickens.
Peter and Matthew became eagles.
We are called to the higher life in Christ.
Not the snooty holier-than-thou thing we often make it become.
But in the beauty of holiness: A call to be.
A call to be disciples.
A call to be disciples of Jesus Christ.
Christ calls us, he calls the world and every generation to put down the nets and money-bags of life;
To become people saved and sanctified and sent.
To become eagles in life, attitude, outlook, desire, motivation…..everything.
Consider the Church at her worst: When the chickens rule the roost – what happens?
But the Church at her glorious best: When the Eagles soar.
Now, the eagle is one of the banned foods (Lev. 11:13): “DON’T EAT EAGLES.”
We know that’s bad right?
Ever fancied: Eagle Nuggets? Roast Eagle? Eagle sandwich? Eagle Curry?
But look how Scripture talks about the eagle in other places.
In the Exodus, in describing the great story of Redemption, it says (Ex. 19:4):
“God bore them on eagles wings.” Beautiful
Proverbs 30:18-19 has a lovely little gem.
“There are three things that are too amazing for me, four that I do not understand:
- The way of an eagle in the sky.
- The way of a snake on the rock.
- The way of a ship on the high seas.
- And the way of a man (in love with) a woman.
And one of many people’s favourite verses in Isaiah 40:28-31
“Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired and weary, and his understanding no-one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary, and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall, but those who wait on the LORD shall renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”
To wait on the LORD is to know him, to be in saving relationship with him.
To wait is not passive, but active, courageous and heroic.
To wait on Him is to show the biblical faith of dependency and trust.
To wait on God, is to soar on wings like eagles.
No longer accepting the weary and the weak atheism of the world.
No longer accepting that you’re done in and finished. Not at all.
The Gospel is a call to all of us to stop being chicken & to become an eagle.
Put down your nets and follow Jesus.