Summary: It’s time to put away our small ventures and to begin investing in the big league – God’s kingdom.
“The Call to His Cause”
“Come follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.”
Two fishermen were out in their boat one Sunday morning when they heard the church bells ring in the distance. One said, “You know, we really ought to be in church.”
The second bloke didn’t even look up but continued to bait his hook. “I couldn’t have gone today anyway, I’ve got the wife sick in bed.”
For some people fishing is everything.
Essentially that is what Jesus is calling us to in this account we’re looking at. When we respond to Jesus’ call to follow him, we are agreeing to join him in the task of fishing for the souls of people.
In this account of the calling of the first disciples, Jesus challenges every person – Christian and non-Christian alike - to be a laborer for his kingdom; to share his heart for the lost and to keep as their central focus in life the task of bringing people in to Him.
1.CONSIDER CHRIST’S CALL
Jesus challenges every person to be a laborer for his kingdom. We can choose to toil for many things in this life, but Jesus calls us to come and work for him. Picture it like this, we’re being headhunted for a far more prestigious position than we could ever have dreamed of.
That’s the essence of Jesus’ call. He is saying, stop playing around in the minor league, it’s time to be a part of something far more significant.
Here is Jesus, talking with two fishermen in their place of work, and he says to them, “Come follow me.” He has something far more important for them to be doing.
a. Soul winning is a command that must be obeyed.
And if we have faith we will follow him. From another angle, Jesus’ words, “Come follow me,” are not merely a suggestion they are a command that must be obeyed.
One Christian I know has taken this command seriously. He is a successful professional in the health care industry. Recently he was offered a practice that he could have easily purchased and it would have seen him through very comfortably to retirement. Yet he considers himself a minister first and a health care professional second – and so because the practice would have detracted from his primary concern for the kingdom of God, he turned it down.
In another set of circumstances he may have accepted the practice on the grounds that it would enhance his participation in the call to bring people to Christ. In fact for his boss, who is also a Christian, this has certainly been the case.
The point is, it was an ambition for reaching others for Christ, not personal gain, which guided the decision.
Christ’s call to follow him is not an invitation that we may or may not accept.
We have no choice. If we refuse to follow we are disobeying the king. When he calls, we must come.
Jesus said, “Come follow me.” It’s impossible to be a Christian and follow our own path. If Jesus is Lord we can’t say “No” to him, no matter what the cost – if we do he ceases to be our Lord.
For Simon, Andrew, James and John, following Christ meant leaving everything for full time service. While not every Christian is called into “the ministry,” everyone who wants to follow Jesus must abandon everything for Christ’s cause. Soul winning must be the primary focus for every Christian – no matter what their earthly occupation may be.
And you know, this approach to work (whether it be in our place of business or in the home), can transform the dullest most mundane task into the most exciting and rewarding. At the very least our paid work is financing the task of reaching the lost for Christ. In the home we’re not just baby sitting the kids – we’re coaching them every minute of the day, to be true followers of Christ. Christians carry Christ into their homes, factories, offices, schools Universities and so on.
So Christ’s call to follow him is not an invitation that we may or may not accept. If Jesus is really our Lord there must be a surrendering of our will to His will. That is the price of discipleship – the cost of following Jesus.
“Follow me,” Jesus said. How far are we willing to hear that voice and obey it not matter what the cost?
And when we consider the cost to us it’s nothing anyway – Jesus has something far greater for us.
Jesus’ challenge is for every person to be a laborer for his kingdom. It’s His intention that we understand this point today – when we follow Him we become a part of something far greater than our own little ventures.