The first followers of Jesus didn’t call themselves Christians. It was a derogatory term used by people outside of the faith. Disciple is a far more accurate and compelling description of what it means to follow Jesus. And, as we will see, the concept of a disciple exposes the fact that many who claim to be Christians are not actually disciples of Jesus.
Matthew 4:18-22, CSB - As he was walking along the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon (who is called Peter), and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the sea—for they were fishermen. “Follow me,” he told them, “and I will make you fish for people.” Immediately they left their nets and followed him. Going on from there, he saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee, and his brother John. They were in a boat with Zebedee their father, preparing their nets, and he called them. Immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him.
All Hebrews boys went to Torah school starting at age 5 with the hope of one day finding a rabbi you admired and applying to become on of his disciples.
The rabbis could choose the smartest and most talented boys to be their disciples. The goal of the disciple was to be like the rabbi. Not to just know what they knew, but to do what they did.
Jesus doesn’t choose the best, He chooses the willing.
v18 - As he was walking along the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon (who is called Peter), and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the sea—for they were fishermen.
Jesus chooses Peter and Andrew, who are fishermen, to be His disciple. When choosing His squad to build His movement, He chose the B-team because His work in the world wouldn’t come from their abilities for Him, but from what He would do through them.
God wants to use you to reach your everyday people. He doesn’t need your ability; He requires only your availability. Have you made yourself available?
He chose us, not we Him.
v19 - “Follow me,” he told them…
The disciples didn’t seek Jesus out. He came seeking them when they weren’t even looking for Him.
Some of you are struggling right now. Believe this: If you are Jesus’ disciple, then He chose you!
John 15:16, CSB - You did not choose me, but I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce fruit and that your fruit should remain, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he will give you.
Our primary calling is to be with Him.
v19 - “Follow me,” he told them…
Jesus’s primary call is not to do something; it is to become like Him.
To become like Him, you have to know Him. To know Him, you have to know His Word.
Get God’s Word inside of you until it dominates all your thinking and all your behavior.
To follow Him, we have to leave all.
v20 - Immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him.
Why identify these two things? Because these are usually the two most significant things in our lives:
Boat: Our careers (the way we take care of ourselves)
Father: Our most significant relationships
To follow Jesus, He has to take precedence over both.
He commands us to spiritually reproduce.
v19 - “Follow me,” he told them, “and I will make you fish for people.”
Following Jesus means you subject everything in your life to His lordship.
Just like He was a fisher of men, His followers must become fishers of men. This is an essential part of being a disciple.
There is no such thing as a non-reproducing Christian.
John 15:8, CSB - My Father is glorified by this: that you produce much fruit and prove to be my disciples.
How do you prove you are a disciple? By bearing fruit.
Matthew 28:19-20, CSB - 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, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
In Greek, the words go, baptize and teach are all participles that derive their force from the one controlling verb —> make disciples.
Everything we do grows out of the call to make disciples.
You are God’s method. We want to see you become this, this year. We want you to commit to it. And don’t let it intimidate you. Disciple making is simply teaching someone to follow Jesus as you follow Jesus with the help of the Holy Spirit. And Jesus has promised to help you. So, identify your one. Ask God to help you identify one person you can, with the help of the Holy Spirit, bring to faith in Christ this year.
Can you imagine what would it look like if every one of the people here this weekend did this, and asked God, “God, give me one person I could bring to Jesus”?