Mk.1:19,20 – “And going on a little further, He saw James the son of Zebedee, and his brother John, who were also in the boat mending the nets. Immediately He called them; and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men, and went away to follow Him.

I think it is quite interesting that Mark recorded the fact that John and James were mending their nets when they were called to come and follow Jesus. I think there may be a hidden message here for us about the building of the kingdom of God. We can begin to catch a glimpse of what the hidden message is with a little closer look at the word that Mark used that is translated as “mending”. It is the Greek word katartizo and it has quite an interesting glimpse of God’s work within it. Here is how Wuest and then Strong describe this beautiful word.

Wuest

“The word is katartizō, to mend what has been broken or rent, to fit out, equip, put in order. The word has in it the idea of equipping something or preparing it for future use.”

Strong

“The fundamental meaning is to put a thing in its appropriate condition, to establish, set up, equip, arrange, prepare, mend. To refit, repair, mend that which is broken such as the nets (Matt. 4:21; Mark 1:19). Metaphorically, of a person in error, to restore, set right (Gal. 6:1).”

John carried this mantle as net-mender throughout his life. We know John as the Apostle of love, his writings are permeated with the love of God. I think of the story in his gospel of the woman caught in the act of adultery. John showed Jesus protecting and defending this woman. Rather than judgement, He offered forgiveness. John also describes the rebuilding of this woman’s life, “ Your sins are forgiven, go and sin no more”. This is what John’s life was all about. He was a net mender. His ministry was about adjusting and repairing broken lives.

So what is the message for us today as we look at a fisherman called John who lived two thousand years ago? I think it is quite obvious. We also are surrounded with lives which are broken. Our culture has been broken and shattered, especially in the last two years. The foundations of our society have been broken and the result is an epidemic of broken lives. The Lord is calling net menders into his work. It’s not glamorous but it is essential. Look around, there are broken lives in your world. Let’s start mending those nets. I hear the chief Fisherman is calling us to launch out into the deep.

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