Summary: Soon after Peter's call to follow Jesus he was taught three very important first lessons in discipleship.
A. Once there was a school teacher who had injured his back and had to wear a plastic brace around the upper part of his body.
1. The brace fit under his shirt and was not noticeable at all.
2. On the first day of school, with the cast under his shirt, he found himself assigned to the toughest students in school.
3. And so on that first day of school, the teacher walked confidently into the rowdy classroom, opened the window as wide as possible and began to address the class.
4. When a strong breeze made his tie flap, he took the stapler from his desk and stapled his tie to his chest.
5. The teacher had no trouble with student discipline from that day forward.
B. Today, as we continue our sermon series on the life of Peter, we will walk alongside Peter in his earliest days as a student in the Master’s college.
1. I doubt that Jesus needed to staple His tie to his chest to get His student’s respect and attention.
2. But I’m sure His students, including Peter, were amazed at all they took in from Jesus, their Teacher.
3. As we walk with Peter as he learns his first lessons in the Master’s college, I hope we will also learn the lessons we need to learn from Jesus, our Teacher.
C. Last week, we looked at Luke’s version of the calling of Peter, Andrew, James and John, which included the episode of the miraculous catch of fish.
1. Let’s begin today by looking at Mark’s version of the same calling.
2. The Bible says: 16 Passing alongside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew the brother of Simon casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. 17 And Jesus said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you become fishers of men.” 18 And immediately they left their nets and followed him. 19 And going on a little farther, he saw James the son of Zebedee and John his brother, who were in their boat mending the nets. 20 And immediately he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired servants and followed him. (Mk. 1:16-20)
3. Mark’s version is much more streamlined and matter of fact – Jesus walked along the sea, called Peter, Andrew, James and John, and they left everything and followed him. Period.
4. And so they became disciples, students, of Jesus and let’s see how the lessons began.
I. Lesson #1: Discipleship Requires Engagement in Spiritual Warfare
A. Let’s continue reading in Mk. 1, the Bible says: 21 And they went into Capernaum, and immediately on the Sabbath he entered the synagogue and was teaching. 22 And they were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as one who had authority, and not as the scribes. (Mk. 1:21-22)
1. Earlier, Jesus had preached His first sermon in the synagogue of Nazareth, His hometown, and when He read from Isaiah 61 and claimed its fulfillment, they tried to throw Him off a cliff because they understood He was declaring Himself to be the Messiah.
2. Jesus escaped and moved to Capernaum and began to teach at the synagogue there.
3. Interestingly enough, the synagogue at Gamla, just 6 miles from Capernaum has been discovered and excavated.
a. It was 84 by 56 feet and people were seated around three sides on five stair-steps.
b. It could hold as many as 430 people.
c. The floor was dirt with four tiles in the center where the reader of Scripture stood.
d. In all likelihood, Jesus taught there during His ministry.
4. But what a privilege it must have been to hear Jesus preach and teach – wouldn’t you have loved to sit at His feet to listen and learn?
5. The synagogue custom was to gather on the Sabbath to hear the reading of Scripture and its interpretation by the rabbis.
a. The rabbis learned in rabbinic school how to quote from the writings of other famous rabbis to reinforce their interpretation, but their messages were only informed opinions of what any passage meant.
6. When Jesus taught there was an obvious difference – Mark described the difference saying, “And they were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as one who had authority, and not as the scribes.” (vs. 22)
a. When Jesus taught and gave the interpretation, He didn’t quote from other famous rabbis, rather He just gave His own interpretation.
b. Jesus spoke as one having authority, because He knew absolutely the true meaning of every passage of Scripture – after all, He was the author and was the living Word of God!
c. This was evident in the Sermon on the Mount, when Jesus said things like: “You have heard it was said…but I say to you…” – Jesus gave the clear meaning and even added authoritative commands.