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On Earth, As It Is In Heaven: Matthew 4.18-22

My one is a guy who would say he is a Christian.  God has placed him on my heart to pray for this guy and see what God does in his life.  Maybe this guy will join us in worship soon.  We have resources for you today to take and pray for one person.  We should all be asking, “Who is my one?”  Who would you like to see connected to God?  Maybe the person you’re thinking of calls themselves a Christian. 

What comes to your mind when I say, “pumpkin?”  Fall?  Pie?  Finally it feels like fall this year.  What comes to your mind when I say, “Christian?”  For us inside the church it is a positive word but it’s not a positive word throughout history.  The word disciple is used 281 times in the Bible.  A disciple is a follower of Jesus.  Jesus’ first call to the disciples is similar to the invitation God gives to you and I.  The passage we examine today is Jesus calling some of his disciples.

Jesus doesn’t choose the best, He chooses the willing.

As we look at these twelve, all are unique.   We will look at four today and all of them are ordinary guys.  If you were to choose a group of people to turn the world upside down, who would you choose?  Jesus chooses the willing.  Jesus goes to the Sea of Galilee.

            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.  Matthew 4.18 (ESV)

These men are doing their everyday job.  The Sea of Galilee was one of the strongest bodies of water to catch fish.  Most of these guys, from the time they were a child knew they would be fishermen.  This was a good living.  They probably had successful homes and people who worked for them.  They were fishermen.  During this time period Jesus could have gone to Greece and Rome and gathered together a group of philosophers whose works we still read today.  Rome had some powerful leaders.  Jesus goes to the Sea of Galilee and sees people preparing their nets.  They’re ordinary people.  They used circular nets that would sink down like a mushroom cloud.  They would gather it together and when they pulled it up they’d have caught what was in the area the net covered.

Peter is the bold one and Andrew, his brother.  It was Andrew who brought Peter to Jesus.  It was Andrew who brought the boy who had 5 loaves of bread and two fish to Jesus when Jesus fed the five thousand.  In john 12 the Greeks want to know more.  Philip takes them to Andrew and Andrew takes them to Jesus.  Andrew takes people to Jesus.  He is an ordinary fisherman who is always taking people to Jesus. 

What will transform Asheboro?  Are there any ordinary people here willing to take people to Jesus?

He chose us, not we Him.

            And he said to them, “Follow me, Mathew 4.19a (ESV)       

We don’t know exactly what follow means here. It was common for teachers or rabbis to take on disciples, kind of like apprentices.  People would follow teachers.  This was a normal pattern in Judaism.  You would select a rabbi to study under.  The rabbi would quiz you to gauge your readiness.  The difference here is that Jesus chose his followers, not the other way around.  God pursues us and nudges our hearts and urges us to follow Him.  God tugged at our heart.  We know something wasn’t quite right in our lives. As we follow Jesus, He calls us to a deeper level of following Him.  The call is simple and straight forward.  Let’s look at what the essence of following Jesus is.

Our primary calling is to be with Him.

            And he said to them, “Follow me, Mathew 4.19a (ESV)       
Jesus shows up and says, “Follow me.”  He doesn’t lay out the whole plan. How much time to we put into planning out our lives?  Some of you are in school.  You’re taking math and science.  Some of you are mid-career.  You’re thinking about your future.  How much time and energy have you invested in what you’re going to do with your life?  It takes a lot of planning.  The Jesus comes to them and says, “Follow me.”  There’s no explanation given, no plan, just, “follow me.”  When Jesus invites us to follow Him He doesn’t give us the details of what to do.  It means we are just to be with Him.

In the beginning of our relationship with Him this is difficult.  You may spend a lot of time planning.  You may not be sure of what to do next.  If you’ve been following Jesus for 20, 40, or 50 years you know the call is to be with Jesus.  A disciple follows after Jesus.  The disciples in Matthew spent about a year with Jesus.  The first year they just follow Him and watch Him.  The first call of a disciple is to spend time with Jesus following Him.  If you find yourself in a place where you don’t know what the plan is listen to what God says. 

I heard a woman recently describing what’s happening with her son.  He used to love to snuggle with her.  He’d give her hugs.  Recently he doesn’t hug her anymore.  He is a man now.  She realizes he is trying to be independent.  He was going through a difficult time and they were sitting on the couch and he came close to her.  She held him and they talked.  He wanted to sit with his mom but he doesn’t want his friends to know!  There is a safe place of comfort.  Jesus is that place and we are invited to sit at His feet.  The calling will always be to sit at His feet and follow Him. 

We’ve talked about Peter and Andrew.  Now we have James and John.   They probably knew each other.

To follow Him, we have to leave all.

            Immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him. Matthew 4.22 (ESV)

Matthew doesn’t give us a whole spiel about what this means.  They left their father Zebedee.  They left their career and family.  Following Jesus is costly.  For many of us here there’s not a huge cost because of the culture we live in.  Most people don’t give everything to follow Jesus.  Jesus calls us to a change in our identity.  Jesus calls us to do something different in our lives.  What God calls us to do is completely different when we come to Jesus.  Our identity is forever changed.  Maybe you’re thinking about what you’ll be when you grow up?  When we come to Christ we do not think about ourselves as a lawyer or teacher.  We are a disciple.  These fishermen will fish again but they are not fishermen who follow Jesus.  They are followers of Jesus who fish.  Our identity is firstly a follower of Jesus.  We may do a whole host of things but our identity has changed.  We are known as a follower of Jesus. 
He commands us to spiritually reproduce.

            Jesus called out to them, “Come, follow me, and I will show you how to fish for people!”  Matthew 4.19 (NLT)

Jesus gives them one core purpose for their lives.  This is the same for us.  There’s one essential thing, one purpose here on earth.  Jesus teaches them how to fish for people.  They will spend the rest of their lives helping people connect to God.  There’s story after story in the Bible of Jesus connecting people to God.  What is God calling you to do?  Our role as believers is misunderstood.  This is what disciples do, not just pastors.  This is our primary calling.  He will show us how. 

We want to give you a tool this morning.  You have a bookmark that contains 30 days of scripture.  The first one, John 14:6 says there’s one way to the Father.  We also have devotional books and we have enough for everyone.  We will do this together.  Today is day one.  All together will ask God, “Who is my person?”  Choose one person to pray for in the next thirty days.  This shows you one way you can pray for this person.  Who is one person you know that needs to be connected to God?  Will you commit to read and pray?

You can visit for more information to participate with us in this effort.

This message outline is by J.D. Greear, president of the Southern Baptist Convention.
Sermon notes are taken, transcribed and posted by Jeni Martin Johnson.


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