Summary: 1) 'calling' is an invitation to follow; 2) calling is the adventure as following unfolds; 3) to respond to the calling in faith will involve some “leaving”; and 4) calling always originates with and centers upon Jesus.
Scripture Text: John 1.43-50
Mindin’ his own business! He was minding his own business, …sitting under the shade tree, …doin’ his devotions. That’s-what Nathanael was doing just-before his friend, Philip, came and turned-his-world up-side-down!
Mindin’ his own business! He was minding-his-own-business, …hangin’-out with his good-friends. That’s-what Andrew was doing just-before his friend, pointed to a stranger and said, “He’s-the-man!”
Mindin’ his own business! He was minding-his-own-business, …down-at-the-lake, …cleaning his fishing-gear. That’s-what Peter was doin’ just-before his brother, Andrew, came and said, “Peter! You’ve gotta meet this guy!”
Mindin’ our-own-business, …that’s what we often find-ourselves-doing when Christ comes-a-callin’!
The second half of John, chapter 1, tells-how the first disciples came to follow Jesus. And, as-you-read-through those events, …it’s-striking how it-all-came-about.
We use this word: “Calling”, …and it’s a word that has-almost taken-on connotations that are bigger-than-life; …it’s almost-got a life-of-its-own! To talk about “calling” seems-like such a heavy-thing. It’s weighted with seriousness. It’s-as-though you have to talk-about-it in hushed tones.
But-although there is a very-serious-side to “calling”, …as I study these passages, …I’ve come to see another tone. And that’s-what we’re gonna-explore this morning. Some of the questions that naturally come-to-mind, on-this-topic, would-be: What does it mean to be “called” of God? What’s involved in hearing and responding to His call? What’s-in God’s mind when He calls somebody like-you, or like-me?
Well… those are just-some questions that you might-expect to come-up in a sermon dealing with the subject of “calling”. But, another question that I’d like to invite you to let-linger is this: What is the tone of God’s calling?... Is it booming, …harsh, …demanding? When God calls, …is He like the drill sergeant who yells, “Jump!”; …and-waits for the enlisted-men to respond with, “How high!?!” What is the tone of calling, when God calls?
And-what-I’ve-found, …as I read through the calling of Philip and Nathanael, …what-I’ve-found is that the tone of Christ’s call is the tone-of-invitation.
I. Calling Is an Invitation to Follow
And-I-think-that, this is true in almost every case. When God calls, …it’s an invitation to follow. And-it’s-not-just with Philip and Nathanael. If you look earlier in John, chapter 1, …you find the same-kinda-thing with Andrew and Peter. And you see it in Matthew’s Gospel, …when Jesus called James and John, it was, “Come, follow me!” Calling is an invitation to follow.