google-site-verification: google3e8cc4742c5fd8a2.html Investigating Jesus - Part 12

Investigating Jesus

Investigating Jesus Part 12
Disciples Discipleship

 

18 As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. 19 “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” 20 At once they left their nets and followed him. 21 Going on from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John. They were in a boat with their father Zebedee, preparing their nets. Jesus called them, 22 and immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him. Matthew 4:18-22

What were these people chosen for?

As we read these Gospel accounts, we can clearly see and know that the disciples often got things wrong. Jesus often rebuked them, such as when the storm hit when they were in the boat. He rebuked them for panicking (Mark 4:38) and for fearing and lacking faith (Mark 4:40). This, despite having seen Jesus do the things he had done. In Matthew’s Gospel, the disciples mistake Him for a ‘ghost’ as he walked to them on the water (Matthew 14:22-36) and Jesus rebukes Peter for lacking faith, as Peter looked at the storm (Matthew 14:30) rather than to Jesus Himself.

Another instance is when Peter, one of Jesus’ closest friends tried to dissuade Jesus from going to the cross, Jesus’ subsequent rebuke was meant for all the disciples and not just Peter (Mark 8:33). They did not yet understand the relationship between suffering and glory. Later in his life, by the time Peter had written the letter we know in our Bible as 1 Peter, he most assuredly did know (1Peter 1:6-8, 1 Peter 4:13-5:10). In calling them to Himself, Jesus called them into a common discipleship of which they are to “love one another” (John 15:17).

The reason for this is so that people would know that they were his disciples, by and through their love for one another, (John 13:34, John 15:16) and this would then produce the desired fruit for God’s kingdom and an effective prayer life (John 15:16).

Chosen but demands are made

What demands does Jesus make on those who choose to follow Him? Just as he did for his original disciples, the people we know as the apostles, he makes upon all who choose to follow Him. Including those of us in the twenty first century.

  • Called regardless of background: The disciples were from a broad cross-section of society. Some as we have seen were fishermen, another a tax collector (who were thought of as traitors to Israel.), others were zealots or sons of zealots.
  • Called to a life of repentance: Symbolic of this is Peter who, when first encountered by Jesus in Luke 5:1-11, declared of Jesus "Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man."
  • Called to a life of service: When they were sent out in Matthew 10, the disciples were to: tell the Good News’; heal the sick; raise the dead; drive out demons and freely give.
  • Called to a life of obedience: Jesus called for obedience of God (Matthew 7:21, Luke 6:46). This obedience means to follow Him in all areas of life.
  • Take up your cross: In Matthew 16:24, Jesus called his disciples to take up their own cross, just as he was going to be taking up his cross at Calvary. By this he meant that his disciples must be prepared to sacrifice, to suffer and die.

If the demands are made like this, how can a Christian Disciple, a follower of this Jesus, actually do them? We will see the answer to that shortly.

Next week: Jesus reveals His true identity to the the Disciples.

 

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