Summary: How can we become fully devoted followers of Jesus?
This evening, I want to share with you something that is close to my heart. I want to share what it means to be a disciple of Jesus. When I was preparing for this message, I came across a letter on the subject that I thought would be appropriate in this situation.
Thank you for submitting the resumes of the twelve men you have picked for managerial positions in your new organization. All of them have now taken our battery of tests; and we have not only run the results through our computer, but also arranged personal interviews for each of them with our psychologist and vocational aptitude consultant.
The profiles of all tests are included, and you will want to study each of them carefully.
As part of our service, we make some general comments for your guidance, much as an auditor will include some general statements. This is given as a result of staff consultation, and comes without any additional fee.
It is the staff opinion that most of your nominees are lacking in background, education and vocational aptitude for the type of enterprise you are undertaking. They do not have the team concept. We would recommend that you continue your search for persons of experience in managerial ability and proven capability.
Simon Peter is emotionally unstable and given to fits of temper. Andrew has absolutely no qualities of leadership. The two brothers, James and John, the sons of Zebedee, place personal interest above company loyalty. Thomas demonstrates a questioning attitude that would tend to undermine morale. We feel that it is our duty to tell you that Matthew had been blacklisted by the Greater Jerusalem Better Business Bureau; James, the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus definitely have radical leanings, and they both registered a high score on the manic-depressive scale.
One of the candidates, however, shows great potential. He is a man of ability and resourcefulness, meets people well, has a keen business mind, and has contacts in high places. He is highly motivated, ambitious, and responsible. We recommend Judas Iscariot as your controller and right-hand man. All of the other profiles are self-explanatory.
We wish you every success in your new venture.
You know, sometimes we feel we’re not the right person for the job. Sometimes we feel like a Moses. When God came to Moses in the burning bush, Moses said to God, “I’m not the right guy for this!” But, you know, God uses people like Moses. You know what? God uses people like Moses to part the seas. Moses may have not seemed like anything special, but God used him to do amazing things. Isn’t it amazing to know that God can use you no matter who you are? David was a young, scrawny boy whom many deemed was foolish for going into battle with a giant, but God brought that giant to the ground.
You see, it is God’s desire to have men and women, ordinary men and women, men and women that some would say aren’t the right people for the job; men and women that some would say are too small or too inadequate or too dumb or too slow or too big. God is calling us to chase after him; to be his disciples.
If you would, turn with me in your Bibles to Matthew chapter 4, beginning in verse eighteen. This chapter begins right after Jesus’ baptism when He is led by the Holy Spirit to the desert where He fasts for forty days and forty nights, and then is tempted by the devil. Afterwards, Jesus comes back to Galilee and begins to preach. It is just after this that we pick up our reading this morning. Verse eighteen:
As 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. "Come, follow me," Jesus said, "and I will make you fishers of men." At once they left their nets and followed him.
Going on from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John. They were in a boat with their father Zebedee, preparing their nets. Jesus called them, and immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him.
Then flip over to chapter nine, verse nine, which says: As Jesus went on from there, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax collector’s booth. "Follow me," he told him, and Matthew got up and followed him.
To many of us this passage may seem odd. What was it about Jesus that made these fishermen and this tax collector just drop everything and follow him. Why would they so immediately, without even stopping to weigh their options, leave their families and their homes and their livelihood and follow this man named Jesus. You see, to understand how profound this passage is, you have to dig a little deeper into the background of this passage. You see, the words Jesus used were not used at random. They were strategically chosen and these men immediately understood their significance.