Exploring the Sunday Gospel - Third Sunday of Epiphany

This image displays a cartoon version of the bible study of Jesus calling his disciples.

Today is the Third Sunday of Epiphany. The Gospel reading is Matthew’s account of how Jesus began his ministry. Jesus had left Nazareth and made his home in Capernaum by the lake. There Jesus calls his first four disciples, Simon and Andrew, James and John. These four men had worked as fishermen. Jesus called them away from their established trade and called them ‘to fish for people’. Fishing for people is a powerful image for the task of the early disciples during the ministry of Jesus. It remains a powerful image for disciples in today’s world as well.

For those of you who wanted to do some thinking and preparation for today’s service during the preceding week, I invited reflection on the image of fisherfolk. In today’s picture from their book, Teddy Horsley meets Jesus’ disciples, Teddy Horsley and Betsy Bear are helping James and John when Jesus calls them away from their work mending their nets.

Lord Jesus Christ,
you called fishermen to follow you.
Help us to hear your call,
so we may follow you on your way,
and share in your ministry to the world;
now and forever.

Next Sunday is the Fourth Sunday of Epiphany. The Gospel reading takes us to Luke’s account of the Presentation of Christ in the Temple, when Jesus is greeted by Simeon as ‘light for revelation to the Gentiles’. The image to help prepare for next Sunday’s theme is lights. You can find out more about that theme by looking at the Educational Resources and the Preparation Resources.

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