James Tissot: Brooklyn Museum

It is a beautiful day for fishing.  You and your brother are casting a net out to sea.  Further down, you see two brothers and their father on the shore, mending their nets. 

Seemingly out of nowhere, there appears a Man.  He approaches and calls out to you and your brother, "Follow Me and I will make you fishers of men."

Both of you are mesmerized.  You leave your nets and follow Him.  Walking further along, He calls out to the others. They abandon their boat, leave their father, and come along. 

You are the four fishermen.

The journey begins.  He walks along the Sea of Galilee, teaching in the synagogues, preaching about the Kingdom, and healing people with all kinds of disease.  You have just witnessed the Teacher, Preacher, and Healer. 

You are His first disciples.

His reputation spreads throughout all of Syria.  Great crowds of people walk with Him from Galilee, Jerusalem, Judea, and beyond the Jordan. The Teacher realizes this vast crowd has been gathering, and He walks up a mount of large rocks, and sets himself down.

The four of you have been amidst the great crowd of people.  You come to Him, and it is then that He opens His mouth and begins by introducing the precepts of peace and happiness: blessedness.  He extrapolates from the Old Law. 

You followed Him without question.  The others are here perhaps for healing.  They are listening, but your lessons from the Teacher are instructions: what you will need to teach others, to prepare for His Kingdom.  He entrusts you for this reason.  Soon there will be more of you who will follow without hesitation.

What you hear is an enduring oration of great length.  He captivates the multitude with His ethical principles that bring to life the essence of the Old Law of Moses. 

You understand how this is different from the Old Law.  Moses came down from Mount Sinai when he spoke with the LORD.  There was great thundering and lightning, and the people were commanded to keep their distance from the mountain. Then the LORD descended upon the mountain in fire.

No, this is very different.  This is not Sinai.  This is a hillside, an intimate place for people to hear about the wonder and mystery of Jesus Christ.  His countenance is calm.  He speaks in a quiet voice.  He invites people to come and be near Him. 

You listen attentively while He talks about the heart of men, the inward conduct as opposed to the outward behavior.  You hear His explanations about the commandments, how murder and adultery begin in the heart.  He talks about loving your enemies, and gives an example of prayer.  This Teacher speaks about the things of the Father.  He teaches about repentance and forgiveness. 

You will eventually realize that He is the Kingdom.

Matthew 5:1-25



And Jesus said to them:

"My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.
I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand. I and the Father are one.” John 10:27-30

"By the grace of God, I am what I am."

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