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Jesus' Calling

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Jesus Calling

This is our second week in the Life Of Jesus series where we are looking at Jesus’ time here on earth, the ministry that he started and wanted to grow.
Last week we talked about Jesus’ preparation for this ministry as he went out into the desert and fasted for 40 days and faced the temptations from the devil.
If you missed that sermon you can hear it online or on the app this week.
This week we will be talking about the next step in Jesus’ ministry. The first week Jesus’ focus was on himself. He was preparing himself through the time spent alone with his Father and how personally he had to face those temptations.
After Jesus has victory personally, he begins the next phase of his ministry where he will be duplicating himself. And he does that by pouring his life into others.
We will be talking about how Jesus calls his disciples. This was probably one of the biggest parts of his ministry. Because Jesus was using people, using people to entrust his message to the world.
Think about that for just a second. Think about the privilege and the enormous responsibility it is to be entrusted with the truth. And the people who he brought along were disciples.
Now remember what a disciple is? The disciple is a learner. It’s that simple. It’s not some kind of doctorate program; it is simply one person spending time with and learning from another.
I hope that makes it a little less intimidating for you. Being a disciple is being a learner and making a disciple means—not that you know everything, not that you are completely qualified—it simply means that you share your experiences, you share the truths that you have learned over the years to someone who maybe hasn’t heard those truths yet.
And the truths you learn can help you as you share them with someone else down the road. Truths that will help someone, truths that protect someone.
Years ago I had the opportunity to invest in a small pharmaceutical company that was going to cure aids. From what I heard it was a slam dunk! I went to talk to my grandmother about it. I knew that she was pretty savvy in the stock market stuff.
She said, “Mark, if it sounds too good to be true it probably is.” But I was going to show her and the world that I knew what I was doing. I was going to trust the guy that I barely knew and I was going to get into this stock.
Fast forward 3 years and that company stock fell to 0. That’s right, a big goose egg.
My grandmother was discipling me in the area of investing. She had been there. I hadn’t. I should have listened to her. I didn’t.
Being one who disciples, or even being one who is being discipled doesn’t have to sound so scary.
Let’s talk a little bit about how Jesus got His disciples. He called them. We are going to talk about that. Because
Themelios: Volume 13, No. 2, January/February 1988 5. The Disciples Are Chosen by Jesus

Normally a student is the one who chooses his teacher. He can come and ask for a place in a school or he can go to another. This was not the way of Jesus. He called his disciples to follow him. The stories of Jesus calling his disciples are well known. The disciples could only give an answer to his initiative. They left everything behind and followed him.

John 15:16 ESV
16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.
John 15:
And it is great. When you read these stories about Jesus calling his followers you will notice early on that they were not chosen because of abilities. They were uneducated. They weren’t qualified. Most of them were working men. Fishermen.
But they weren’t chosen because of their abilities but by grace alone. They weren’t chosen because of their talents. They were chosen by Christ, so that He could do an amazing work in them. To make them new creations for His purpose.
So church in the first century church looked much differently that the church looks now. The New Testament Church was discipleship based.
In the New Testament church they looked at themselves not as supporters of the church, but as disciples of Jesus. They didn’t go to the service and say, I didn’t like that song, or they didn’t say, I wish that we had a killer youth ministry. Those are great things but they went to meet with other Christians in order to be better disciples for Christ. And this is supposed to be true of us today.
All believers (those who have surrendered their lives to Jesus) today are disciples of Christ. Not just supporters of a church.
So what does THAT mean? What is the cost of discipleship? The call to discipleship in Jesus day meant to leave family, profession and property. Levi left his tax table. Remember that? He was a tax collector and Jesus came to him and he got up from his business.
The call to discipleship in Jesus day meant to leave family, profession and property.
Levi left his tax table
Jesus even said something about this in how he described the Qualifications for Disciples in
Luke 14:26 ESV
26 “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.
Understand that we aren’t supposed to hate our moms and dads. But what Jesus is saying is that when we are disciples for Him, we honor Him first. He comes first in every area of our lives. Even when it comes to our own well being.
Let’s look at how Jesus called his disciples. We have a record of how he got his disciples to follow Him. Because you need to understand that. Jesus calls us. He does the calling. Jesus calls his disciples to follow Him. We don’t surprise Him, we don’t sneak up on Him. He calls us.
He calls us to follow him
1. Jesus does the calling
John 15:16 ESV
16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.
John 6:44 ESV
44 No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day.
Jesus is the one who does the calling. He seeks out those who are his.
Luke 19:10 ESV
10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”
That is what He does. He seeks and he saves. And he knows who he is looking for. It is amazing how personal this is. Remember that. Your relationship with Jesus is personal. He calls you into a personal relationship with Him.
Which means that He Calls You By Name (that means that he knows you) He knows You.
He knows you for who you are (and still calls you)
He calls us by name which means he knows you and he knows me and he knows all of us. He calls us for who we are and he calls us for who we will be. This is played out for us in the calling of Philip and Nathanael
John 1:43–49 ESV
43 The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, “Follow me.” 44 Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. 45 Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found him of whom Moses in the Law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” 46 Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.” 47 Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him and said of him, “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom there is no deceit!” 48 Nathanael said to him, “How do you know me?” Jesus answered him, “Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.” 49 Nathanael answered him, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!”
John 1:43-
Jesus knows who he is looking for. He is not picking as he goes along. This isn’t einee meeie miny moe. No, Jesus knows exactly who He is looking for. Verse 43 says that He found Philip. He found him. So Jesus is on a mission and he completes his mission by finding Philip.
Then Philip goes to his friend, Nathanael and says, “guess who we found?! The one, the one Moses promised, the promised Messiah. And then he names him, “Jesus of Nazareth”.
And Nathanael’s answer is “Nazareth?”. Really? Nazareth, can anything good come from there? Now before you say that Nathanael is being judgmental, there is an explanation. Nathanael knew the scriptures, he knew what the scriptures had to say about the coming Lord. He knew that the Messiah wasn’t coming from Nazareth, but from Bethlehem.
Jesus was born in Bethlehem but he lived in Nazareth. It’s not that complicated. Just like I was born in Harve de grace but have never ever lived there. Just like some of you here today will say you live in Middletown, or Bear or Townsend but that isn’t where you always lived.
And so Jesus could actually be complimenting Nathanael for knowing the scriptures and not being afraid to speak up when something smells fishy. So I think it is a compliment from Jesus. here is an Israelite indeed in whom there is not deceit. From which Nathanael asks, how do you know me?
And Jesus reveals that he knows more than Nathanael realizes. He says, I saw you under the fig tree before Philip called you.
Jesus supernaturally knew he was looking for Philip and Nathanael. As a matter of fact, if you want a little personal application here...
Jesus knows us for who we are even when no one is looking. UH OH! That’s a little scary isn’t it? Jesus knows every part of you and Jesus knows every part of me. He is omnipotent and omniscient and omnipresent.
That might cause us to rethink some of our actions right? And it should, really. And look, we do this kind of stuff all the time. You put on the church face, I put it on too. Doesn’t make it right. But that is what we do because we want to impress each other, we want others to see the side of us that we want them to see.
I remember when Rachel and I went through out premarital counseling one of the things that the counselors told us was to get a group of people together and go camping with each other. Because when you go camping you get to see more of the real person. See how they act when they slept on a tree root all night. See how they are without spending all that time in front of the mirror. I was really nervous how Rachel would see me after I hadn’t primped in front of the mirror.
No, we put our best faces on for people who we are trying to impress who we don’t even know. We treat strangers better than ourselves!
I tell the kids to go to bed and lights out. Then all of a sudden I hear what sounds like elephants doing jumping jacks upstairs. So of course I have to head up stairs and straighten it out but low and behold, when I get up there the lights are out and the cute little kids are in bed. Its amazing!
We put our best foot forward when we know people are watching but understand that Jesus is with us always. It’s not supposed to freak you out, it is supposed to encourage you and to help you. Because Jesus knows what is best for you. And he knows what is in store for you
So Jesus calls us
John 1
He calls us for who we are when He already knows who we are
but he also calls us for who we are to become. The story of Peter comes to mind. The Lord had something in store for Simon Peter.
John 1:40–42 ESV
40 One of the two who heard John speak and followed Jesus was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. 41 He first found his own brother Simon and said to him, “We have found the Messiah” (which means Christ). 42 He brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, “You are Simon the son of John. You shall be called Cephas” (which means Peter).
Matthew 4:18–22 ESV
18 While walking by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon (who is called Peter) and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. 19 And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” 20 Immediately they left their nets and followed him. 21 And going on from there he saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee and John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets, and he called them. 22 Immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him.
Peter and Andrew are first called
Mark 1:16–20 ESV
16 Passing alongside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew the brother of Simon casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. 17 And Jesus said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you become fishers of men.” 18 And immediately they left their nets and followed him. 19 And going on a little farther, he saw James the son of Zebedee and John his brother, who were in their boat mending the nets. 20 And immediately he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired servants and followed him.
Mark 1:16-
Luke 5:1–11 ESV
1 On one occasion, while the crowd was pressing in on him to hear the word of God, he was standing by the lake of Gennesaret, 2 and he saw two boats by the lake, but the fishermen had gone out of them and were washing their nets. 3 Getting into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, he asked him to put out a little from the land. And he sat down and taught the people from the boat. 4 And when he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” 5 And Simon answered, “Master, we toiled all night and took nothing! But at your word I will let down the nets.” 6 And when they had done this, they enclosed a large number of fish, and their nets were breaking. 7 They signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink. 8 But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.” 9 For he and all who were with him were astonished at the catch of fish that they had taken, 10 and so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men.” 11 And when they had brought their boats to land, they left everything and followed him.
John 1:35 ESV
35 The next day again John was standing with two of his disciples,
He calls us to follow him
John 15:16 ESV
16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.
A lot of us know about Peter. We know that he was basically the head of the church in the new testament era.
We know that he was fisherman. He would have been only so educated. We know that Peter was the kind of guy that kind of had a short fuse. He spoke his mind, quickly. He was a reactor. He was spontaneous.
For who we are (Nathaniel)v 43-49
He was fearful
And a lot of us love this about Peter. We love seeing this guy who Jesus saves. And we get to see his transformation take place. We see how Jesus takes Peter and really does change his attitude.
For who we will become Simon to Peter v 42
Now it takes a while and it isn’t even complete at the end of Jesus’ life. But when the Holy Spirit comes into the life of Peter we see a big change.
We see an impulsive, erratic man who would even deny Christ when things got rough, we saw him become patient, and resolved. We saw him become confident. We would even see him rejoicing that they were counted worthy to receive a beating after the angel broke them out of prison.
Remember the story of Peter in prison? He is in there singing hymns! That isn’t the old Peter. That wasn’t him at all. The old Peter grabbed the sword and cut off the ear of the servant of the high priest. The old Peter when things looked bleak denies even knowing Jesus! The old Peter ran away at the arrest of Jesus.
This new Peter would rejoice at a beating. He would stand up to the authorities. But most impressively, he was more than willing to lay down his life for his Savior. He would literally die for the name of Jesus.
No more would he cower at the prospect of someone giving him a hard time about Jesus. No, Peter became an ambassador for Jesus so much so that he was willing to die for his Jesus. And eventually he would.
Jesus called Peter, not necessarily for who Peter was, but for who Peter would become. Jesus knew the work that he would do in Peter, the rock.
Jesus calls Simon (son of Jonah) and changes his name to Peter. The name change isn’t as much as what it will mean to Peter as it is to the nature of Jesus who can see into who Peter will be but Jesus calls so that he will make him what he calls him to be.
Jesus calls his disciples. He calls his followers.
He calls us, not for who we are but for who He will have us be.
You see when Jesus calls you there is a change in you. There is something new.
And so… 3 He calls us to a new life.
He calls us to a new life.
Calling of Matthew
Luke 5:27–32 ESV
27 After this he went out and saw a tax collector named Levi, sitting at the tax booth. And he said to him, “Follow me.” 28 And leaving everything, he rose and followed him. 29 And Levi made him a great feast in his house, and there was a large company of tax collectors and others reclining at table with them. 30 And the Pharisees and their scribes grumbled at his disciples, saying, “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?” 31 And Jesus answered them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. 32 I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.”
Matthew was a tax collector. The worst of the worst. He gathered taxes for Rome but this job didn’t pay so the tax man was able to charge above whatever he wanted to be able to make his living. Such men were often dishonest and would charge crazy amounts of money. They would basically tax your shadow because they could.
This is who Levi was. He would have been hated by his brothers and his country men, especially the pharisees. He was fleecing God’s chosen people and making a profit from it.
So why would Jesus, this new popular prophet in town come and call this guy to become one of His disciples? What was so special about him? Remember, Jesus calls us because he knows us but he also calls us for who He created us to be.
Matthew would become a great disciple of Jesus and would even be one the biographers of Jesus when he writes the book of Matthew. Why would Jesus call Matthew? The real question I guess would be: why would Jesus call any of us?
Why would Jesus call any of us?
4 He Calls Us So that We Can Call Others
He Calls Us So that We Can Call Others v 40-42 this is the most effective way of bringing people to Christ. See what he has done for me.
There is a great little exchange that happens after Andrew, Peters brother goes to Peter to tell Peter about Jesus. in 40-41
John 1:40–41 ESV
40 One of the two who heard John speak and followed Jesus was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. 41 He first found his own brother Simon and said to him, “We have found the Messiah” (which means Christ).
He calls us so that we will call others. This is the most effective way of bringing people to Christ.
The brother of Peter, Andrew met Jesus first. We see that and what is the first thing he does after that? The Bible says that the first person, the very first person Andrew goes to tell the good news to is his brother Peter. Come and see. Come and see who Jesus is. See what he has done for me.
This is the point of the good news. The Good News is to be told. That is the whole point. When Jesus tells the disciples right before he ascends into Heaven. The last command He gives them he tells them this.
Matthew 28:19–20 ESV
19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
That is what Jesus left the disciples with and do you think that that message was just for them? No, Jesus is saying, reproduce others in their faith the way I reproduced myself in you. Teach them that God loves them. Teach them how to trust in me, teach them how to make more disciples for me because God loves his children.
And so the question begs to be asked… Who are you telling the good news to? Is your relationship with Christ a secret? Or are you open to tell others what God has done for you and what God has done in your life.
That is the most effective way to bring people to the Lord. Let them hear your story. Don’t preach to them. If they wanted to be preached to they would already be here on Sunday mornings but they aren’t.
Tell them what God did for you and don’t water it down. Don’t make it like it isn’t that big of a deal. When people see and hear about you living your life for the Lord they take notice and they want to understand.
God has given you your story to be shared with others. That is what we do when we make disciples and we teach them to tell their God story to others.
Because when you surrender your life to Jesus you understand that you are a new creation. A new creation. The old is gone and the new has come. That’s exciting! And there is a world out there that needs to know your story. God is working in your life so that you will in turn encourage someone else with what God has done for you.
He gives to you so that you can give to someone else.
Jesus is calling. If you don’t know him then what would stop you? He has already paid the price and he is waiting for you to surrender all to him.
Jesus calls his disciples. He calls his followers. He calls us, not for who we are but for who He will have us be. You see when Jesus calls you there is a change in you. There is something new.
If you haven’t surrendered all then this morning is the time to give it to him.
You are a new creation, the old is gone and the new will come. Jesus is calling.
The task of the disciple is to preach the gospel of the kingdom.
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