17From that time on Jesus began to preach, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.”
18As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. 19″Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.” 20At once they left their nets and followed him. – Matt 4:17-20
John the Baptist had been teaching about the kingdom of God. He was preparing people for the ministry of Jesus. He had been put in jail. Up to that point, Jesus had been doing little if any preaching. With John in prison, the kingdom needed to move ahead, so Jesus began his public ministry. Almost immediately, he recruits some followers. They would be the ones who would carry on the kingdom. From John to Jesus to the Disciples. The kingdom was moving along with different runners, different players. Knowing that the kingdom message was what was to be taught through all generations, Jesus recruited 12 men and began to pour his life into them. Like a relay team, the baton of the kingdom had to move.
And it continues today. Someone brought the kingdom closer to us. It is our job to bring it closer to someone else. Who will carry on the message when we are gone? Are there people that I am building into right now that will run the track when I am gone. The message is far too important to die with a generation.
God, help me to identify some younger people to invest in. Those that would carry the kingdom to places that I could never go. Thanks for the people in my life that made that hand-off. Help me have the courage to do the same.