Sermon by Pastor Patricia Geiseman
February 9-10, 2019
Like a lot of people, I read reviews for just about everything: recipes, books, clothes, anti-aging serum, and films. I read the positives, then the negatives, and then make my own decision. Sometimes my experience differs from the reviewers, such as when a wildly popular film leaves my mind wandering and waiting for the end. But almost always reading ahead of time is a benefit.
Even without the internet, news about Jesus spread fast throughout Galilee. Reading through the first four chapters of Luke, so far, I would say Jesus has four stars. Overall, people have been amazed. You will recall the list: those who heard the shepherds’ story, Jesus’ parents listening to old Simeon in the temple, the men in the Temple listening to twelve-year-old Jesus’ questions, those who listened to a thirty-year-old Jesus read from Isaiah, and the crowd who witnessed the healing of the demon possessed man. From the time of his birth to the beginning of his ministry, there is a lot of amazement over Jesus’ words and actions.
The only negative reviews so far would be from the people in Jesus’ hometown who took exception to his reminder that the net of God’s abundance included foreigners.
By Luke chapter 5, Jesus has a following. The crowds are pressing in on him. Jesus needed some space. So, just before today’s Gospel lesson, he departed for a deserted place to be alone. I wonder, in this time by himself (which didn’t last long), did Jesus pray for a little help? I bet he did. So far, his ministry was a solo call. Even though he was, as Luke tells us, filled with the Spirit, Jesus was, humanly speaking, alone in his mission. The crowds were pressing in on him. Clinging to him. And why not? Healing power is very attractive.
Jesus needed a team.