Summary: Jesus is reaching out to this generation calling them to follow Him. He wants to pour Himself into them to make authentic reproductions of Himself. His call supersedes all other earthly responsibilities. Do we have enough of Jesus to reproduce Him?
JESUS' CALL TO FOLLOW HIM
A. HUMOR: Career planning
1. One Sunday morning, as the Bubba Rathbone family were driving home from First Assembly after a great service where their Pastor really preached a great message, 9 year old Sam said to his father Bubba, "When I grow up, dad, I've decided to be a Preacher."
2. "Well Sam," said Bubba, "I have no problem with that. But tell me, why have you now decided to be a Pastor? You were going to be a football player last week."
3. "I know I was," replied Sam, "but during the church service I realized that I’m going to be going to church every Sunday for the rest of my life - and that's a long time. So I decided that it would be funner to be standing and shouting than just sitting and listening!"
4. That’s not the ideal way to get a ‘call.’ Here’s a better way…
14 Now after John was put in prison, Jesus came to Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, 15 and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.” 16 And as He walked by the Sea of Galilee, He saw Simon and Andrew his brother casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. 17 Then Jesus said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you become fishers of men.” 18 They immediately left their nets and followed Him. 19 When He had gone a little farther from there, He saw James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, who also were in the boat mending their nets. 20 And immediately He called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired servants, and went after Him.
1. Jesus, if you meet Him, is the answer to all your searching. In Him you’ll find fulfillment, purpose, and the love of God. Real men/women will follow Christ when they meet Him.
2. Mt. 20:16 says, “Many are called, but few are chosen.” From our standpoint, this means, “Many are called, but few really respond to that call.”
3. AN EXAMPLE: RICH YOUNG RULER - He was called by Christ to follow Him. But he was reluctant to give up his comfortable lifestyle. He would not respond to the Master’s Call.
4. We’re going to look at the nature, purpose & authority of Jesus’ call. The title of this message is “Jesus' Call to Follow Him.”
I. THE NATURE OF THE CALL
A. MADE TO ORDINARY PEOPLE
1. Jesus found Peter, Andrew, James & John.
2. WERE ORDINARY PEOPLE:
a. NOT TRAINED – Scribes, Levites, Priests
b. NOT RABBIS – not even Pharisees, Sadducees
c. But people like you & me.
d. Jesus wasn’t looking for the elite, the educated, the brilliant, the Barbie & Ken’s of this world. Listen…
3. 1 Cor. 1:26; “For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called.”
B. HE CALLS BUSY PEOPLE
1. WHAT JESUS CALLED:
a. Fishermen, busy running their business, planning their future, setting goals…
b. Yet Christ called them in the midst of their busy-ness!
c. James & John had their father Zebedee & hired servants – and were partners with Peter & Andrew. They had a booming business corporation going!
2. CHRIST CALLS MANY BUSY PEOPLE TODAY
a. Some follow Him;
b. Others do not respond, like the Rich Young Ruler.
c. Others become Christians, but later let busyness engulf their lives & quit following.
a. A minister was approached by a man who wanted to join the church.
b. “But,” the man said, “I have a very busy schedule. I can’t be called on for any service, such as committee work, teaching, or singing in the choir. I just won’t be available for special projects or to help with setting up chairs, or things like that. And I’m afraid I’ll never be able to go on visitation, as my evenings are all tied up.”
c. The minister thought for a moment, then replied, “I believe you’re at the wrong church. The church you’re looking for is three blocks down the street, on the right.”
d. The man followed the preacher’s directions and soon came to an abandoned, boarded up, closed church building. It was a dead church – gone out of business!
4. Have we let “good” things crowd out our faithfulness to Jesus? What happened to our VISION?... our BURNING HEARTS? Our LOVE for God? Jesus calls us to come back to Him.
C. IT IS A POSITIVE CALL
1. NOT A CALL TO ESCAPE HELL, TO A BORING LIFE, just to get blessed, But a CALL TO FOLLOW JESUS, a POSITIVE CALL.