In the movie, “Planes, Trains, and Automobiles” John Candy is speeding down the highway. Steve Martin is in the passenger seat. The driver of the other car keeps blowing the horn, and trying to get their attention by screaming out “ You're going the wrong way.” Steve Martin can't quite hear him, and he hollers “ What?” The couple screams again, “You're going the wrong way... Turn around. . You’re going to kill someone.”
John Candy says, “How do they know where we're going?” And then, they are suddenly confronted with two trucks coming in their direction, and they squeeze in between them. They just didn't get what was happening until it was too late.
God sent Jonah to Nineveh to tell them that they are “going the wrong way,” and, in this case, the whole city of Nineveh heard the warning, and repented. They changed the way they were living, and turned toward God.
That's what this Gospel is about. Repent! Turn around! You’re going the wrong way. The kingdom of God is at hand. Don't miss it!
Simon and Andrew were fishing, casting their nets into the sea, and Jesus says. “Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Simon and Andrew don't hesitate. Jesus’ invitation was too strong for them to resist, and so they drop their nets and follow Jesus. A little farther down, James and John were also fishing. James and John heard the call, and followed Jesus.
What was the urgency of this message? Why did all four of them give up what they were doing to follow Jesus who had just said that “the kingdom of God is at hand, Repent, and believe in the Gospel?” There was something about Jesus and his message that they must have felt was real and was important.
They were the first to hear the message of God. They did not hesitate. They knew which way to go.
Jesus offers us that same message, “You're going the wrong way.” It's time to examine our lives. There’s a whole new world out there, and we don't want to miss it. It is a world that may be invisible to us. It's the kingdom of God, the kingdom of love, of peace, of kindness, of hope, of compassion and trust. They are invisible but they are real. They become visible through our actions.
There is no panic in the kingdom of God, because we're surrounded by the safe comfort of Christ.
Did the apostles know where they were going? No, not exactly. Their world would be different. They were giving up their jobs, their careers, and telling others about the kingdom of God. Peter, Andrew, James, and John did not fully realize the blessings of the kingdom of God. Even when Jesus was on the cross, only John was around. It wasn't until after Pentecost, after the descent of the Holy Spirit, that the apostles began to speak the language of disciples. They became the first Bishops of the church teaching of their experiences with Jesus.
Peter, Andrew, James, and John would tell us today that going the right way means following Jesus –
It may be time to turn around.