Summary: Following God means embracing change
Intro: *note - will have just finished having communion service
Jesus tells us to do this in remembrance of him. Let’s reflect a little on the Lord Jesus, and the earthly ministry he had while he was here among us. We know that Jesus came to do the father’s will. He came to finish the work the Father had given him. Yet, as God come to earth, Jesus could have lived, worked, and died alone. Yet he didn’t. He called others to be with him. He called disciples to come and follow, to observe, to learn, to go, and to become like him in all they did.
I would assert to you today that God’s method of bringing change to our world is through using individuals who are faithful to their calling. God could use superstars, and occasionally he brings the Billy Grahams to the forefront. Yet more often, he chooses to use the ordinary Bobs and Janes, the Bills and Marys. 1 Corinthians tells us “the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength. Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things . . . so that no-one may boast before him. Let him who boasts boast in the Lord."
Let’s talk about . . .
I. Jesus’ pattern in choosing the disciples
Jesus uses three steps in calling his disciples: Come and see, come and follow, go and preach. And he gives these calls in stages to his disciples. So many times we get the idea that Jesus just goes out one day, picks twelve, and goes about healing and teaching. Let’s look at the scriptures, and see the progression Jesus goes through with his disciples.
Remember that John the Baptist has been preaching by the Jordan. Jesus goes down to be baptized of him, and then goes out to the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. He returns, and in John 1:35-51 we see Andrew and another disciple, possibly John, spending the day with Jesus. They spend the day, and go home to tell their friends about being with Jesus.
John the Baptist is later put into prison. In Mark 1:14-21 we see after John is in prison Jesus meets up with Peter, Andrew, James, and John. They come and follow Jesus.
In Mark 3:13-19 we see Jesus again calling disciples to follow him, and he appoints the 12 as apostles, those commissioned with a message to share. He designates them as ones who will be going out. He chooses them so they might be with him and that he might send them out to preach and to have authority to drive out demons.
Later in Mark 6:7-13 we see the 12 being sent out on their first trial preaching trip. They have been with Jesus, have learned from Jesus, and now it’s time for them to share what they know to be true about Jesus. They get the chance to go out on their own.
In Mark 6:30 we see they come back and the first thing Jesus does is give them a test. He tells them to feed the 5000. He helps them to see that even though they have grown much, they still are lacking in their faith.
In Luke 10:1 we see Jesus send out 70 others, two by two, to put their faith into practice.
Before Jesus departs back to heaven after the resurrection, he once again gives the call to follow. In Mark 16:15 he once again tells them to go and preach the good news.
Throughout his whole ministry with the disciples, he is calling them to step forward and become active in sharing the good news of salvation offered through Jesus Christ. This morning, ask yourself, “how active have I been in sharing the gospel with others?” Jesus calls each one of us to come and see, to come and follow, and then to go and tell.
Not only was this the pattern for choosing disciples, but it was also
II. Jesus’ pattern in building the early church
Jesus chose to have the early church spread through the faithful witness of the individual members of the church faithfully sharing God’s message to others. After Jesus ascended back into heaven, the disciples waited until he sent the Holy Spirit. In Acts 2:14 we see Peter standing up and preaching to the crowd on the day of Pentecost. Many were saved that day. In Acts 2:42-47 we see the apostles doing great signs, but it is the individual believers who are all together serving one another. They meet in the temple courts for worship, and they meet in homes for fellowship and ministry.