Summary: How do we become disciples of Jesus?

John 1:43-51

“Speak, Lord, for your servants are listening.” Give us ears to hear Jesus calling, “Follow me.” Help us find ways to “Come and see.”

The calling of disciples is a mystery, something profound, sacred, and beyond complete human comprehension. It usually involves divine intervention in a person’s life and a deep personal transformation with significant changes in their beliefs, values, and behavior, and deepening of spiritual awareness and understanding

So we have to ask:

Who is called to be a disciple?

What qualities are required to be a disciple?

What is a calling? According to the Webster International Dictionary, ‘Calling’ is a strong inner impulse toward a particular course of action, particularly when convinced of divine influence.

Calling disciples involves Jesus approaching individuals, often fishermen or other ordinary people, and inviting them to:

“Follow me,”

The people left their current occupations and families to become Jesus’ followers.

They heard a voice only their inner self could listen to. Once heard, the call redirects their lives. They had found meaning in following Jesus.

Isn’t it interesting that Jesus never said to make disciples by taking them to church—or a Bible study group? Not that these activities aren’t an integral part of a disciple’s growth, but the calling is much more personal.

What makes us and others disciples of Jesus?

• People more concerned about individual souls than numbers to fill a church.

• People striving to be like Jesus rather than complaining, criticizing, and confronting from a distance.

• People willing to leave their comfort zone to teach instead of hiding behind four walls and waiting for someone to appear.

• People standing up for the gospel’s truth rather than caving when friends or family members exert pressure.

• People who know what the Bible says and say what the Bible teaches instead of giving personal opinions or quoting off-the-wall scholars.

• People praying without ceasing instead of constantly harping.

• People with open hearts and homes and Bibles rather than closed off to offering their time and presence.

Maybe they’re nowhere near you. So you have a great opportunity: become one of them. Learn how to become a faithful follower of Jesus Christ. Start from scratch. You and the Holy Spirit. You and the divine power of God. You and the gospel truth of Jesus that transforms lives and saves souls.

When Jesus returned to heaven after His resurrection, He left His followers explicit instructions for the people there with Him that day and for every follower of Jesus who would come after them. He said,

“Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you” (Matthew 28:19–20).

God wants his people to go out into the world. The religious folk prefer clusters and cloisters, the safety of numbers where one can sway with the crowd and avoid risk in the work of the Kingdom.

Which am I?

Which are you?

The Kingdom begins with me. I, for one, am determined that it will not end with me.

Will you join me?

Jesus only has us to become disciples and encourage others to join us. Faith passes from person to person. Discipleship is simply helping people become better friends with God.

Jesus Himself used the concept of friendship to describe what He’s looking for from us in John 15:14-16:

“No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing, but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.”

Jesus did not call exceptional, famous, or influential people to be his friends.

• He publicly endorsed Matthew - a despised tax collector who stole from his people.

• He commissioned a naked man possessed by demons as his first missionary.

• He entrusted a promiscuous Samaritan woman with his testimony.

• He held up a Roman centurion, the military enemy of the Jewish people, as an outstanding example of faith in Israel.

• He let Mary of Bethany - a woman- sit at his feet in the place of a man.

• He handpicked James and John - uneducated fishermen as his protégés.

• He selected Peter - a headstrong, unfaithful loudmouth to be the foundation for his church.

• He chose Paul - the murderer of the church, to proclaim his name to the Gentiles, their kings, and the people of Israel.

Over and again, Jesus picked the most unlikely characters to represent him—the least of these, the outsiders, the bottom of the food chain.

He calls each of us to become disciples, doing what we can to expand the teachings of Jesus and the Kingdom of God.

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