Summary: “A true disciple of Christ will make a total commitment to Christ and live up to that commitment.”
BASIC STEPS IN FOLLOWING JESUS Luke 5:1-11
Proposition: “A true disciple of Christ will make a total commitment to Christ and live up to that commitment.”
Objective: My purpose is to challenge each child of God to take the basis steps helpful in making a full commitment to Jesus Christ.
Illus: Did you hear about the man who ran a variety store a few years ago? It had once been a thriving store, but as he got older he became obsessed with keeping the store neat & clean. He spent hours arranging and rearranging the merchandise on the shelves. Some days he wouldn’t even open the store, for fear that it would be thrown into disarray. That man lost sight of the purpose of his store. While it sounds ridiculous, it’s easy to do for us to do as followers of Christ.
The crowds often “pressed” to see Christ’s miracles and listen to His parables. The people were interested in what Christ had to teach them of spiritual truths and were astonished at His teaching. What Christ had to teach were the laws of God, a kingdom distinct from of worldly kingdoms. The materialistic Jews had expected that the Messiah would usher in a kingdom that would excel all other kingdoms in splendor. Christ’s kingdom was to be a spiritual kingdom. Unlike the old theocracy with its temple and throne in Jerusalem, His kingdom would be extended by the preaching of the Gospel throughout the world.
The Gospels present 3 perspectives on the call of the fishermen to follow Christ. The Gospel of John recounts the importance of John’s ministry as it related to the call of these first disciples (See John 1:35f.). Andrew & an unnamed companion were introduced to Jesus by the Baptist’s striking words, “Behold the Lamb of God…”, and immediately Andrew found his brother Peter and brought him to Jesus. Matthew and Mark give helpful insight into the apparent evolution of the fishermen’s call to discipleship (cf. Matthew 4:18-22 and Mark 1:16-20). We learn that the four fishermen received a clear call to follow after the Savior and become fishers of men. These men, perhaps unaware of the radical, life-changing nature of Jesus’ call, did not completely abandon their fishing business. Luke recorded the final phase of the call to discipleship for the fishermen. Finally, in the context of the miraculous draught of fishes, these men realized more fully the breadth and depth of Christ’s call to service. No halfway measures would do. He demanded full compliance and obedience to His command to follow Him.
Step I. AN AGREEMENT: BE OPEN TO THE INITIATIVE OF JESUS (vvs. 1-4) “He stood by the Lake…He got into one of the boat”—Peter and the others had just returned from an unsuccessful all night fishing trip. The large throng crowding around Jesus prevented His teaching effectively as He stood by the Lake of Gennesaret, another name for the Sea of Galilee, by a village on the northwest shore. So He went out a short distance in the water in Simon’s boat so that they could all listen to the Word of God.
1. The interest: The curious crowd (v. 1) “The multitude pressed about to hear”—Gennesaret is the name of the lovely, fertile plain on the west side of the lake. The lake measures roughly 13 miles by 7 miles being about 700 feet below sea level. The Lord used Peter’s boat as a pulpit from which to teach the multitude. The crowd was eager to hear the Word (can mean “Word that comes from God” or “Word that tells us of God”). If we yield all our property & possessions to the Savior, it is wonderful how He uses them, & rewards us too.
2. The involvement: The weary workers (v. 2) “They were washing their nets”—Cleansing the nets (that encompassed 100 feet) on shore was the regular morning’s work after a night of fishing. They had gathered a great deal of dirt and filthiness as well as smell. Even though they had not caught any fish, they had to clean them in order to put them up as they had given up. This was so the boat would be in readiness for the next trip.
3. The instruction: The tireless Teacher (v. 3) “He…taught the multitudes”-- Jesus’ gathering of disciples was not unusual in His time & Jewish setting. Many rabbis would gather students to teach Torah. But the kind of disciples Jesus gathers is unusual—they are not professionals. Fisher-men, tax col-lectors, former revolutionaries & just plain sinners make up this new community. Jesus launches them on a journey with God, a walk in which God begins to work in their lives. The lesson is that we need not be perfect to come to God; rather, we need to trust God & let Him do His gracious work in transforming our lives.