Speaker: Jim Stanley
Series: Discipled to Disciple
Text: Matthew 4:18-22
And Jesus, walking by the Sea of Galilee, saw two brothers, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. Then He said to them, "Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men." They immediately left their nets and followed Him. - Matthew 4:18-20
All along it has been my plan to move from preaching through first Thessalonians directly to the second book written to these believers. However, at this time, I am convinced that rather, than continuing in that expository series, we ought to focus on a particular topic.
Beginning today we will embark on a series of messages on discipleship. A disciple follows and learns from a particular teacher. Our particular teacher is Jesus. Our commitment to learn from and follow Him makes all the difference in our own lives and in the world we live in.
The starting point for discipleship is the call of Jesus. We are introduced to His disciples as He is walking along the shore of the Sea of Galilee. He sees two brothers, Peter and Andrew casting a net into the lake and calls them to follow Him. He said, “Follow Me and I will make you fishers of men.” While they probably had little idea what Jesus was talking about, we know from how the process unfolds in the New Testament that He made them into people whose primary focus in life would be trusting in Jesus, following Him and making disciples of others.
The fact that they left their nets immediately and followed Jesus is an outward indication of inward faith that took Jesus at His word. Luke expands the story to show that this was a process where Jesus revealed His deity through a miraculous catch that also exposed sin and provided the basis for faith. They believed in Him and began the journey of discipleship.
While eternal life is a free gift that begins the journey by faith, discipleship is a process that involves repeated steps of obedience along the way. When we look at the gospels, we find the disciples often missed the plan and Jesus often taught them the steps that were needed to faithfully follow.
That is to say that we can always be better disciples. Looking at Mark 3:14-15 where Jesus appointed the twelve, we find three elements of discipleship. They were appointed to be with Him. A disciple spends a lot of time with Jesus. This is how we are grow to be like Jesus. They were “sent out to preach.” A disciple is sent out to share the things He has learned from Jesus with others…beginning with the gospel. They were appointed to have power “to heal sicknesses and to cast out demons.” A disciple is granted power from God in both physical and spiritual realms for the purpose of reaching other. These are areas in which we can all grow!
Let’s agree to approach this study with these questions in mind? What can I learn and apply to make me a better disciple? How will I seek to impact others in my sphere of influence with the things I am learning? Where do I need to trust God for the power to witness more effectively?
May we be a church who comes together so that we may be sent out. May the truths of discipleship flow through us to others who will faithfully do the same. May we see the fruit that comes from faithfully following our Lord.
Here's how Jesus builds His church. It's how He did it 2000 years ago, and it's how He does it today.
A true disciple has a long-term plan for their wealth . . . a plan that considers eternity instead of just today or even just this life.
Everyone is a prodigal in one way or another. A disciple knows how to be restored through confession and receiving grace by faith.