3 Marks of a True Disciple
Luke 5. 1-11
So I am reading the newspaper last week and I read the story of a woman who went into Wal-Mart and bought more than one thousand dollars worth of goods.
She went up to the checkout and when it came time to pay, what do you think she pulled out?
A credit card?
A bunch of 20 dollar bills?
No, when she paid the cashier she pulled out a million dollar bill!
Needless to say, the cashier was a little taken aback, I mean, what is the change for that?
998,000 dollars counting change!
There was only one slight problem with paying with a million dollar bill.
There is no such thing as a million dollar bill, the U. S. Mint doesn't print them.
When they arrested the lady she had a couple more million dollar bills in her purse.
I wonder if she was going to go down to the local GM dealership and buy an SUV with one of her other million dollar bills.
Now, I can think of some schemes to defraud people, but on the level of intellect this lady probably does not score so well.
I assume she is now getting room and board at her local jail.
It's not too difficult to tell if a million dollar bill is genuine is it?
If you have one, you know it isn't genuine because there is no such thing.
When it comes to faith in Christ it is a little bit more difficult to judge isn't it.
You guys know as well as I do that some people claim to be followers of Christ.
They claim to be disciples, but they are not.
They put on a good show and talk about being a Christian and know all the Christian lingo, but down deep inside their heart, they are not believers.
They are not followers of Christ.
I don't know you guys at all, but I suspect that one or two of you here, and maybe more are just like that.
Trying to pass of as a follower of Christ, but you are not really.
You are acting.
I want to go to a passage this evening where we get three clear marks of what a true disciple is.
Christ is calling Peter to come and be his follower and in the process we see what a true follower of Christ looks like.
So we can take this passage and hold it up like a mirror to ourselves and judge and say, “Am I a true follower of Christ?” “Am I a true disciple?”
That is the question that I hope you answer in your own mind tonight, “are you, or are you not a true disciple of Christ.”
If you have your Bibles, open up to the book of Luke,.
chapter 5. Luke 5.1.
“/Now it came about that while the multitude were pressing around Him and listening to the word of God, He was standing by the lake of Gennesaret; and He saw two boats lying at the edge of the lake; but the fishermen had gotten out of them, and were washing their nets.
And He got into one of the boats, which was Simon's and asked him to put out a little way from the land.
And He sat down and began teaching the multitudes from the boat.
And when He had finished speaking, He said to Simon, “Put out into the deep water and let down your nets for a catch.”
And Simon answered and said, “Master, we worked hard all night and caught nothing, but at Your bidding I will let down the nets.”
And when they had done this, they enclosed a great quantity of fish; and their nets began to break; and they signaled to their partners in the other boat, for them to come and help them.
And they came, and filled both of the boats, so that they began to sink.
But when Simon Peter saw that, he fell down at Jesus' feet, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!” For amazement had seized him and all his companions because of the catch of fish which they had taken; and so also James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon, And Jesus said to Simon, “Do not fear, from now on you will be catching men.”
And when they had brought their boats to land, they left everything and followed Him.”/
It's a pretty simple, straightforward story isn't it.
Christ tells Peter to drop down the nets.
He catches a bunch of fish.
Christ tells him to come and be a “fisher of men,” and Peter and James and John leave everything and follow Christ.
They become, at the very moment, disciples of Christ.
True Disciples Are Obedient
So, what do we have here that shows us what the marks of a true disciple are.
First, true disciples are obedient.
True disciples are obedient.
Christ tells Peter where to fish.
Now it is obvious that Christ is after Simon Peter, James, and John.
They probably knew him from before and most likely they had even interacted with Christ, because Peter calls Christ, “Master,” so he obviously paid respect to him from having known and talked with him before this episode.
But this is the crisis moment.
This is when Christ is going to call him to be a disciple.
Christ tells Peter, Listen, go out into the deep water and drop over your nets for a catch of fish.
Now, does Peter think this is a good idea?
He actually thinks it is a silly idea.
He says in essence, “Excuse me, Master, we have been out fishing hard all night and we have caught nothing, what makes you think that going out into the water now will bring any fish?”
Think about this for a moment.
What was Christ's trade?
He was a carpenter.
What was Peter's trade?
He was a fisherman.
In all likelihood, Peter was not only a fisherman, but he was the son of a fisherman, and probably the grandson, and probably the great-grandson.
That is the way things worked back in those days.
You became what your father was.
Christ's father was a carpenter, Christ became a carpenter.
So here you have a guy who is a professional carpenter, telling a professional fisherman how to fish! Can you believe that?
It sounds crazy.
Peter was an expert fisherman.
He knew when to fish, where to fish, how to fish, he knew everything about fishing.
Christ - on the surface at least - knew nothing about fishing.
If you are a professional fisherman and a carpenter comes along and tries to tell you how to fish, what are you going to do? You're going to tell him to take a hike.
I am a professional airline pilot.
The most demanding thing a pilot can do is fly the airplane in and land when there is lousy weather.
To help him do that, in my aircraft you have these crosshairs that guide you in to land at an airport.
They help you line up on the runway, and then fly the proper altitude down so that you land on the runway and not before it.
They help keep you safe.
It is as if, we are making attempts to land in Detroit in the midst of a blizzard, and we have made several attempts and we have failed.
That happens sometimes because the visibility is too bad or the wind is blowing too hard, or both.
We are just thinking about going somewhere else when we get a knock on the cockpit door.
We open the door, and here is this guy standing there and he says, “listen, I am a carpenter and I suggest what you should do is turn off your flight director (those little crosshairs) and fly the approach to Detroit without them.”
We ask him, “have you ever flown before?”
“Do you know what the flight director does?” Uh, Nope.
Just turn them off and you will be fine.
I'll tell you what I would do.
I would say, “Dude, you are crazy, go sit down and mind your own business.”
Fortunately, Peter does not do this.
He obeys Christ.
He obeys Christ because he has failed.
He has tried fishing all night and caught nothing.
So even though he knows this is a crazy idea, and you don't catch fish during the day, and they aren't around anyway, he figures it is worth a chance because he himself has failed.
And right there is a lesson for us.
You generally will not follow Christ until you have failed, until you sense your need for him.
So Peter obeys.