Readings for the 3rd Sunday after the Epiphany

      Matthew 4:12-23; 1 Corinthians 1:10-17; Isaiah 9:1-4

I don’t know very much about fishing, but I have friends who do. They know the best times to go out, the best places to fish, and the most enticing bait. I always catch more fish when I’m with them.

Jesus calls fishermen to be his first disciples. “Come follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” (Mt.4) This is some strange, strange fishing. To human eyes, the disciples are the wrong people for the job. They have no evangelism training or experience, and they hail from a region living in spiritual darkness. So how in the world do they hope to succeed?

Sunday’s readings remind us that God spreads His Kingdom in ways we can’t understand or predict. He uses – in powerful ways – people we’d consider wholly unqualified for sharing God’s Word. He uses you and me! Our responsibility is not to know all the where’s, how’s, when’s and why’s. For us it is enough to trust and follow.

In the Epistle reading, Paul makes an appeal for unity in the Corinthian church. He urges us not to get hung up on who our earthly role models are. So long as we’re all following Jesus, we’ll be fine (1 Cor 1).

In the Old Testament reading, Isaiah predicts that God will visit the land of a people living in darkness. This was fulfilled in the events of our Gospel (Is 9).