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Summary: An exploration of possible reasons why Jesus’ disciples must leave everything and follow Him – eliminating all but the fact that His call makes sense when we realize that He gave up everything for us.

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Text: Luke 5:1-11, 27-31

Title: Have you heard his call?

Topic: Christian Living

Theme: Committed Christian Living

Purpose: to be the Holy Spirit’s second witness challenging God’s people in my care to commit everything to Jesus as they follow him.

Response: Individuals will receive Communion and either commit or recommit everything in their lives to Jesus.

Pattern: An exploration of possible reasons why Jesus’ disciples must leave everything and follow Him – eliminating all but the fact that His call makes sense when we realize that He gave up everything for us.

Visual Aid: fish nets, a boat

INTRODUCTION

Nate Saint and fellow missionaries Jim Elliot, Ed McCully, Pete Fleming, and Roger Youderian had set up camp on a little sandbar in hopes of making contact with the primitive Aucas, known for their fierce infighting and hatred of outsiders. The five missionaries had a deep burden to share the gospel message with a South American people known only for hunting and killing. Their first friendly contact ended in death by spearing.

Why didn’t the missionaries defend themselves with their guns? Why did they leave five young women widowed, nine children fatherless?

Less than three years after the massacre, Rachel Saint (Nate’s sister) and Jim Elliot’s widow, Elisabeth, were living with the tribe. They practiced basic medicine and began to write out their language in hopes of someday translating the Bible. But why would they do it?

Even the Aucas did not understand what happened on that little beach in January of 1956. As they repeatedly discussed the raid, one question haunted them: why hadn’t the missionaries used their guns to defend themselves? Two of the Indians had been wounded. But the Aucas were certain that the superficial wounds were unintended, since one was hit only after his mother grabbed a missionary’s arms and the other knew no one saw where she was hiding.

These wounds, actual evidence that the missionaries were capable of defending themselves and chose not to, were a major factor in the Aucas agreeing to allow Rachel Saint and Elisabeth Elliot to live with them. The killers had to know why would the outsiders let themselves be killed rather than kill, as any normal Auca would have done?

Citation: Christianity Today International / Christianity Today Magazine Vol. 40, No. 10, Page 20 © 1996,

GOOD QUESTION -- WHY DID THEY DO IT?

Why would grown men, married with children, give up life in America and go to the jungles of South America? Why would they allow the natives of that jungle to kill them leaving their wives and children alone in the world? Why did they give up everything?

THE FIRST MEN TO FOLLOW JESUS WERE NO DIFFERENT.

One day as Jesus was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret, with the people crowding around him and listening to the word of God, he saw at the water’s edge two boats, left there by the fishermen, who were washing their nets. He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little from shore. Then he sat down and taught the people from the boat.

When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, "Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch."

Simon answered, "Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets."

When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink.

When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, "Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!" For he and all his companions were astonished at the catch of fish they had taken, and so were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, Simon’s partners.

Then Jesus said to Simon, "Don’t be afraid; from now on you will catch men." So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him.

After this, Jesus went out and saw a tax collector by the name of Levi sitting at his tax booth. "Follow me," Jesus said to him, and Levi got up, left everything and followed him.

Then Levi held a great banquet for Jesus at his house, and a large crowd of tax collectors and others were eating with them. But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law who belonged to their sect complained to his disciples, "Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and `sinners’?"

Jesus answered them, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance" (Luke 5:1-11, 27-31 NIV).

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