Summary: Discipleship, Priorities, Evangelism
Matthew 4:18-22 (p. 677) October 20, 2013
In the book “Life Without Limits” Lloyd Ogilvie says, “Like the first disciples, our greatest need is not just to see or hear about the resurrection, but to have the resurrection happen to us!
The most powerful historical proof of the resurrection is the “resurrected” disciples. Dull, defeated people became fearless, adventuresome leaders. Coward’s became courageous; the timid became triumphant; the inept did the impossible. ‘He is Risen!’ became the joyous chant of a new life without limits. (pg 283)
Only Jesus is able to see the potential of a person after the resurrection...Only the Son of God can peer into the human heart and see what can be...even as He clearly knows...what is.
Jesus’ ministry begins on the heels of John the Baptist’s minority of preparation...John is the forerunner...The Herald who proclaims “Here Comes the King”...He’s the best man...Jesus is the groom...and John knows it...He announces...”Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world...I’m not worthy to unlatch His sandal...He must increase...I must decrease...The reason I came baptizing with water was so He could be revealed in Israel.” (John 1:26-31)
Here is John’s testimony...”I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on Him. And I myself did not know Him, but the One who sent me to baptize with water told me, “The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit. I have seen and I testify that this is God’s Chosen One.” (John 1:32-34)
Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the Devil for 40 days...After passing this test He learns John the Baptist has been put into prison...His ministry is ending...”And Jesus said John was the greatest man ever born.”
From that time on Jesus began to preach...What did He preach? “Repent for the Kingdom of Heaven has come near!” (Matt. 4:17)
And then He starts picking His team...
MATTHEW 4:18-22 (p. 677)
4 fisherman...two sets of brothers...Peter and His brother Andrew...and John and His brother James...Zebedee’s boys.
This isn’t Peter and Andrew’s first meeting with Jesus...(probably not James & John’s) But we know Andrew...had been one of John the Baptist’s followers...And when John the Baptist introduced to Jesus as “the Lamb of God.” They turn and follow Jesus...He asks...What do you want...”
I’ll tell you what they want...
I. THEY WANT A MESSIAH
JOHN 1:37-51 (p. 740)
Andrew, Simon Peter, Philip, Nathaniel. We don’t know a lot about these early disciples...We know of few of their occupations...Some family connections...Philip, Andrew and Peter came from the same hometown...Bethsaida.
What we do know without a doubt is...these are people who anticipate a Messiah...Those are people who long for God’s promise to be kept...Nathaniel speaks the words of anticipation...”Rabbi, you are the Son of God. You are the King of Israel.”
Nathaniel believes after Jesus telling him he was napping under a tree.
These are men who long for a Messiah.
They are willing to lay down their nets and walk away from their boats...and their fathers...like Abraham of old...they might not have known where they were being called to God...but they believed the one that called was worth following. “Come follow Me and I will send you out to fish for people.”
How anxious were these fishermen to follow the Messiah...”At once they left their nets and followed Him”...”Immediately they left their boats and their father and followed him.”
There is something God put within every human heart...it’s the desire for something bigger...something that will last....whether you are a Galilean fisherman or wealthy tax collector.
Jesus didn’t call these men because they were the best and brightest...He called them because of their hearts...and only He could see what His Spirit could do in these uneducated blue collar disciples.
They would see greater things than His vision of Nathaniel under the tree, but they would also be tested as to whether or not they were “ALL IN.”
Like this guy...who decide
II. I’VE GOT TOO MUCH STUFF TO FOLLOW JESUS
Jesus has just finished loving and blessing children...and as he leaves this place He encounters a man with a question: The question “what must I do to get eternal life?”...Goodness seems to be part of the discussion...Listen
MATTHEW 19:17-26 (p. 689)
I’ve kept these commandments...I’ve been a good guy...And then we asks Jesus the most dangerous question to ask God: What do I still lack?” Don’t ask Jesus that question if you don’t want to know the answer he tells the Rich Young Ruler – Jesus’ answer is...You lack one...Go get rid of all your stuff and follow me...
The word he uses for perfect (Teleios) doesn’t mean “without flaws”...It means complete...It’s fulfilling its purpose...A hammer is perfect if it drives nails...A frying pan is perfect if it cooks chicken...(Telescope can’t be perfect until it’s extended).