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March 16, 2020 11:55 am
Let message open your Bibles to Matthew chapter 4 about going to read from verses 12 through 25. So at home with your Bible, and encourage you to open it.
As we read the holy Scriptures this morning. Continuing in our study in Matthew in today come to the this last section in Matthew four, verse 12 nobody heard that John had been arrested, he withdrew into Galilee and leaving Nazareth, he went and lived in Capernaum by the sea and the tentative Zebulun and left align so that what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled, the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles the people dwelling in the darkness have seen a great light, and for those dwelling in the region and shadow of death on them. A light has dawned. From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand 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 and he said to them, follow me and I will make you fishers of men immediately left their nets and followed him 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 main mending their nets and he called them immediately. They left the boat and their father and followed him, and you enjoyed all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every disease and every affliction among the people. So his fame spread throughout all Syria and brought him all the sick, those afflicted with various diseases and pains those oppressed by demons.
Those having seizures and politics and to heal them, and great cry which followed him from Galilee and the Decapolis and from Jerusalem and Judea and from beyond the Jordan wonderful portion of Scripture. Our mission at Calvary is being and maintaining authentic followers of Jesus Christ. But what is an authentic follower of Jesus.
What does it mean to follow Jesus. One of the implications of following Jesus and how would I know whether or not I an authentic follower of Jesus while a passage this morning, answers these very important questions previously in our series in Matthew, we learned about the birth of Jesus is baptism in this temptation. Now his ministry in Galilee to the north of Israel begins after John's arrest I were told that Jesus leaves his home time of Nazareth. There you see it.
To the north in the region of Galilee, and although he's brought up in Nazareth. He lives as a kind of center of his ministry in Capernaum, which according to Matthew chapter 9 verse one becomes his on city Capernaum. This little child in the right on the Sea of Galilee in the northwest of the Sea of Galilee is in the region were told of Zebulun and Naphtali and is near a major highway. So although it's a relatively small town is a very important time and this is Matthew.
In verse 14 was in fulfillment of the prophecy of what we know is Isaiah 9 verses one and to the people living in darkness have seen a great light, those dwelling in the region and shadow of death on them light has dawned how wonderful in this area of spiritual darkness to people who are living in a very shadow of death, the glorious light of the gospel comes Jesus comes as the light of the world to dispel the darkness, and is described here in verse 16 as a great light using that light to all of us are in spiritual darkness. And Jesus is calling on us to repent, because the kingdom of heaven is at hand. But because were in spiritual darkness.
We are unfit for the kingdom of heaven.
Therefore, we must repent and this passage tells us that Jesus is calling all kinds of people from all kinds of places we saw in verse 25 that their people from Galilee from the Decapolis from Jerusalem, Judea and even from beyond the Jordan. No one is excluded. Even we read in Galilee, all the Gentiles. Yes this message.
The message of the gospel is not just a little over people.
It is through this region, and in fact is Mike is going to explain it is a message which embraces the whole world.
No one is excluded it is true.
All of us are unfit for the kingdom of heaven, but here is the good news that Jesus is presenting that all are welcome into the kingdom of heaven with repent of our sins if we through faith embrace Christ as our Savior, because math is Matthew is presenting Jesus as the Messiah is the Christ as the son of God as the king, so he calls these four men as we read to be authentic followers of him. But what does that mean first of all disciples very basically and very obviously disciples follow King Jesus here by the Sea of Galilee. Jesus calls for men to follow him. He preaches repentance. He announces that the kingdom of heaven is at hand, we see that in verse 17 Jesus began to preach, saying, repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. We need and 23 as he went through. I think throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues. He is proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom. This is in the magnificent announcement that the kingdom of heaven is at hands.
After saying that the kingdom of heaven is at hands. Don't you agree on the face of it, it seems rather anticlimactic that he calls for ordinary people.
One would've thought something dramatic was going to happen some great demonstration of the glory of God the kingdom of heaven is at hand. As it is calls for ordinary fishermen, but this is how God works. Calling ordinary people to follow King Jesus that the Jesus is calling Peter Andrew James and John.
Ordinary fishermen well known in the home time I was making a living in the Sea of Galilee. Nothing spectacular, not highly educated, simple fishermen, but this is how Jesus is going to spread the gospel want to contrast that with what is being called the new apostolic Reformation movement, which seeks to restore apostles and prophets to the church.
Christianity today in January of this year had an article about them in this as I quote many Christians in this movement believe God is appointing people into these high positions in government, he will use them to supernaturally make America all the world into the kingdom of God is that what Jesus is teaching the gospel that Jesus is taking people who are in high positions in government, in order to make America and the world into the kingdom of God. But a tall stack says no we don't make this world into the kingdom of God. Jesus says in John 18, my kingdom is not of this world. Here is the response of King Jesus and the coming of the kingdom of heaven repent before God and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. That is, from following your personal agenda your ambition, whatever it is you are following in life is attending from that and now you are following King Jesus because Jesus is the King. He announces the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
And he the king is come, he leads and we follow a notice how wonderful this is. It is Jesus who does the calling a disciple.
Here's the call of Jesus and obeys because this call is not just to the cause of Christ of the teaching of Christ on the example of Christ.
It's more than that. The call is to the person of Christ. I am to follow Jesus else blindly follow their charismatic leaders are groupies, follow celebrities, but here is the challenge that comes to you and me today.
Notice what it is in verse nine he said to them, follow me. That's it.
That's it. Authentic discipleship of the essence of the Christian faith.
Is it is following Jesus in our continuing and a personal relationship, not just getting the doctrine of not joining a church. I'm not just saying I'm going to do this for Jesus. No, it is fundamentally first and foremost that I am saying as I hear the call of Jesus. I will follow Jesus on following the person of Jesus in this wonderful personnel growing vibrance relationship is called today follow me.
This call is personal. Jesus says in John 10 in the wonderful chapter of the good Shepherd that the good Shepherd calls his sheep by name John follow me Susie follow me Peter follow me Andrew follow me. This is the call of Jesus supernatural call when we hear the voice of God, follow me your phone. Jesus repented you come to the cross of Christ and understood that the Savior of the world has come to die on the cross for your sins, and that through his death, his burial and his resurrection. There is eternal life offered to you. And as I follow Jesus, then there is a radical change in all direction in my life you really following Jesus is still following your own desires your own pleasures your own agenda your own plans your own comfort Christian life begins with this fundamental change. I turn from my sins and I turned to Christ. Instead of following the ambition and the desires of John Monroe. I am now following Jesus Christ usually wears you going to lead. I don't know that the trust, the trust were singing about. Whatever the cause, wherever he leads my responsibility is to follow him. He is the Christ is the king means the commander achieve is the Lord of glory.
I am to follow him and it begins with this turning from my sin, and the following of Christ and then there is this personal transformation in our hearts and lives that disciples are committed followers of Jesus that you notice in verse 2100. They immediately left their nets and followed them. I don't know if I'd have done that. I think I might've said lately.
Let's talk about this Jesus immediately left nets James and John did the same thing. The text says immediately. Verse 22. They left the boat and their father and followed Jesus, leaving aside their personal ambitions and their agenda and following Jesus was applying when Jesus calls you, you follow me gently. This is the Paul describes as the regions of faith. Following Jesus is the very opposite of a life of self-determination and self absorption. It is following Jesus, irrespective of the cost. During the end of a job interview.
The CO asked the newly qualified young engineer something salary are you looking for engineers that while in the neighborhood of 200,000 a year depending on the benefits package. CO said well what would you say to a package of five weeks vacation 14 paid holidays full medical and dental company matching retirement fund to say 50% of your salary and a company car lease every two years, say a red Corvette young engineer stand up straight and said wow are you kidding yes that the CO but you started it, is that what we think. I'm going to follow Jesus that we can follow Jesus to increase your balance to follow Jesus. Have a more comfortable life ahead of the contemporary church challenging his congregation to type.
Of course we should give we were done that this morning, but in the card they say this when we bring our first and best back to God are talking about finances. He promises the blast.
The rest of our finances for our lives and they going to say if you do that if you try and if after 30 days you feel God hasn't blanched you. You can ask the church without refunds. Unbelievable is not what was on churches today that what Jesus is saying like some kind of the used car salesman while trying to car doesn't want to come back and you get your money back is that the kind of commitment that Jesus is asking to try it.
I would try Jesus know you don't trying to these disciples didn't say I'm going to follow you provided. You can guarantee the unhealthy and wealthy will follow you. Jesus provided you can guarantee that will be the wealthiest fisherman in the sea of Galilee know they leave everything Jesus is going to say in the Gospels of you seek to find your life, you lose it, but if you lose your life for my sake will find it is an important points you follow Jesus on his terms not yours measure, like me, you think you can do a deal with Jesus of following here. If you guarantee this kind of negotiation you don't do that you don't negotiate with Jesus you follow him unreservedly on his terms. Not your nice what it means to be an authentic follower of Jesus Christ, the priority of disciples is to follow Jesus unreservedly and obediently we sign.
I have decided to follow Jesus, no turning back, no turning back. That means when it's tough and what is difficult when none in the dark valley and what I'm wondering if I can continue.
I'm still going to follow Jesus. Why, because of who is an anything or anyone claiming a higher affection or legions or authority in our life is to be rejected and nothing is wonderful that so often. Jesus calls us when we are what the disciples doing fishing is Matthew collecting taxes but God so often calls us in our daily lives as we are serving him. This is living by faith. I ask again, you heard his call know the key aspects of following Jesus of vital personal relationship with Jesus and the commitment to Jesus faced with this coronavirus so easy to panic.
Isn't it so easy to say what things may never be the same again perhaps or not I don't know but whatever the crisis when it's a national crisis, personal crisis, family crisis, church, prices will always follow Jesus. This is living for Jesus and as we do that we were assured that we will know is peace first then disciples follow King Jesus. Secondly, disciples learn from King Jesus, the disciples spent time with Jesus in their case for over three years since a challenge of discipleship is not just a follow Jesus, but is to learn from Jesus. The moment of our conversion would begin to follow Jesus. But discipleship is also a learning process that if you know anything about the Gospels you know that these disciples invite all of them be that under James and John and the rest of them. There were sometimes very slow learners. Sometimes, afraid sometimes characterized by unbelief.
Sometimes they didn't seem to be listening very closely to the teaching of Jesus. Sometimes they were arguing among themselves which one which of them was the greatest. Sometimes a hard hearts. In other words, are very much like you and me. Whatever you say about them continued to follow Jesus. They hear his teaching and preaching and they understand that nevermind spoke like this man. He spoke not as the scribes and Pharisees, but with authority.
In verses 23 through 25. We we read about his mighty miracles and his actions so he he healed all the second cost of the diamond. The demons was able to deal with people having seizures in people who are paralyzed, he healed them all.
They saw that they were in the boat pretty calm the storm and said what kind of man is this, that even the wind and the ways obey him and learn all at once, but they understood that no one ever spoke like and they understood that no one had the authority date over disease and the deathlike Jesus. Yes he is Almighty God. And yes, he is sovereign over all diseases including the coronavirus.
Therefore, trust is the authentic disciples I have to challenge you as I challenge myself in this authentic disciples of a deep desire to learn. I remember when I graduate from Moscow went to work with attorneys and in those days, long, long ago, we called the lawyers that we returned under the Masters sons very patronizing, doesn't it.
But I worked for these masters I signed a contract it was saying you think you're pretty smart. I did that pretty well in law school. I call my handful of law but I was quickly to find out was much as I thought I had to learn from the Masters and the senior partner in the providence of God took me under his wing. He was he was with at retirement age. She was going to retire at fairly certain that he treated me so kindly and he was a brilliant lawyer and I made many mistakes in life but one of the smart things I did was I spent as much time as I could with this man would sometimes come into my office and recover cuppa coffee together is going to court. I would go he like me to drive and we did go to court and how I would listen to him when he was with clients I would see how he how he spoke to them how we interacted and I kept asking questions why I wanted to learn. I wanted to learn from a master lawyer, a man who'd been practicing law for many many years and I wanted to learn disciples ask questions, seek to stop learning is to stagnate. I worked with a lot of people in my life. You can almost put them into two creditors visitors that there is a person who never asked a question they think they know it all. Lately they are whether to sit insecure or whether to private they can never say can you help me here with him become very good. They stare a certain level there's others who want to learn. Yes, they fall down. Yes, they make mistakes and as followers of Jesus and how important it is that we never ever stop growing disciples who are learning are growing. I trust the Lord follow Jesus for many many years.
I'm still a learner be a learner think of that wonderful passage in Matthew 11 over Jesus is coming to me all you who labor and heavy laden. Take my yoke upon you and learn of me for meek and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. Jesus invites us to come and to learn of him and this is one of the marks of the authentic follower of Jesus. This is not a passive process. Being a disciple is active is dynamic is exciting. If you've just begun to follow Jesus. Don't don't be discouraged. Perhaps you're in a large group of Bible study, and that it seems that everyone there knows the Bible much better than than you do, don't be discouraged by that desire to grow to ask questions to spend time with Jesus is why think how important it is that we that we know the Gospels Matthew Mark Luke and John took Jesus to listen to his words to see him and action to be daily in prayer asking for his help to be me frequently in the company of other disciples who help us learn and grow. That's why at Calvary church.
We emphasize fellowship and community so important to rely group through Bible studies to discipleship through personal interaction and how important it is. What ever our age that we are teachable.
Don't be afraid to ask questions we humble when my son was at high school. He came home. I used to say to him, did you ask any good questions today don't know that if you are a teacher you know you want students to ask good questions as to what you learn.
If you're learning as part of your learning an instrument, Junior your your coming to the master and saying how can I improve.
How can I sing better.
How can I play better.
I can I kick that bald guy that I cannot pull that club in such a way that I can put that little ball farther. There's a teachability is.
That said, we should be true of every follower of Jesus disciples. Follow King Jesus. They learn of King Jesus. Third, they serve King Jesus that you notice this verse 19 he said to them, can hear it. Some of you have have been to the Sea of Galilee.
A beautiful sea of Galilee. You can picture the current Jesus walking along the seashore and he sees these men is the challenge is the command follow me is all he says and I will make you fishers of men.
He calls for disciples to be fishers of men.
Before Jesus calls in the fishers of fish, but Jesus had plans and purposes for them that they could never have have imagined. Little did they know as they began to follow Jesus. What lay ahead. The dog was going to use them to turn the world upside down that they were going to be his mighty apostles. Yes, these ordinary fishermen.
God was going to use them in a profound way and the world shattering a way that we have recorded in Scripture. These insignificance ordinary disciples is exciting to follow Jesus.
You know what is going to lead Khalil Alyssa you're falling Jesus down to new Smyrna Beach, Florida getting to know God is going to use you may have some ideas. You may pray Ray have some concepts. The wonderful thing is is you keep following Jesus as you keep learning of him as you have a desire to serve him.
You have no idea.
I have no idea God is wonderful to know students to follow Jesus think what can someone like me, do I have no idea. But Jesus cc does as only he can.
He's God. He uses are skills or training of resources are education and personality in the present.
Altogether, as it were, and as we follow him, he uses all of that and most of all, the filling of the spirit for his glory that fishers of fish become fishers of people using discipleship is not an end in and of itself.
The call is not just a follow, but to follow to become, to be molded and shaped by the master just as I was a young attorney needed to be molded in and admonish them and encourage them rebuke sometimes under the care of a of a master lawyer.
Here is our sovereign God detection.
This is him and make you fishers of men.
Because the disciples were not only with Jesus. He then sent them out from him was going to read at the end of my fear that he says go therefore and make disciples of all of the nation's status.
What is happens I a disciple is being trained as being equipped is being transformed to serve Jesus authentic followers of Jesus are called to serve challenge those of you who been following Jesus for a long time.
You have a lot of Bible knowledge human love to go, what you think, deep into the world.
You may even brag about how deep you know the Bible you may enjoy Christian fellowship and community. I hope you do but let me say this. If studying the Scriptures is being with your fellow believers doesn't result in you serving Jesus and others is a problem in authentic follower certainly follows Jesus certainly learns from Jesus, but also serves Jesus and others you know whether that she scolded the life and the wind was no outlet. It takes in water from the Jordan. But is that life sometimes her fear. Some Christians are like that.
They love to learn the left to fill their notebooks the left to be with Christians. They left a saying in that is central part of the Christian faith. All that's important. But we must not forget this, that we are called to serve. I am to learn of Jesus, so that I may serve him.
That's one of our other themes for 2020 serve your Lord serve him and the wonderful thing is disciple seven different ways but some stretching a bit here but my fellow pastors will excuse me, I'm sure Peter and Andrew's eyes were casting their nets into the sea, they were to become outstanding evangelists who signs up in the day of Pentecost and preachers to the thighs in this Peter is a great evangelist.
He preachers and 3000 souls are saved when his brother Andrew. Andrew seems the client and brother but is it every time we read of Andrew in the New Testament is bringing someone to Jesus even hazelnut brings a little boy to Jesus for the five loaves and the two fishes I might have overlooked some perhaps Peter and others.
Another big crowd but Andrew is a kind of individual who connects with people one on one evangelists very different, but both authentic followers of Jesus. Here are James and John.
When we meander mending their nets. Jesus is going to call them and under his care there going to become outstanding shepherds and leaders in the early church.
There going to get great leadership John, this is great apostle of love and so God in his grace calls different people, ordinary people with different personalities different gifts different backgrounds and uses them in his purposes. You see, were called by Jesus not on the basis of who we are, but what in his grace and with his strength we will become.
I'll make you fishers of men, who does the making. Jesus is not ready for the times. Of course you're not even Paul says was adequate for the thinking of all Paul's giftedness sensor was adequate for these things all adequacies, Christ.
We sang in that beautiful song is not evidence cries to lives in me. So Paul can say of the apostles were just clay pots. We are just jars of clay so that the surpassing greatness of the power may be of God and not of our selves find this tremendously encouraging but also very humbling to know that God has wonderful plans and purposes for your life. Students is incredible to think that when Jesus calls us.
He calls us for the purpose was at a little Scottish athlete initially said God made me for the purpose and God made me faster when I run. I feel his pleasure. Yes, God calls all of us for the purpose follow Jesus.
Be humble. Learn of Jesus serve Jesus and he uses us in ways we can never ever imagine I could testify that my online and many of you could greet could that life takes us from our perspective on unforeseen turn strange assuming died – and perhaps a difficult one. But it's all in the Masters plan is he when we follow Jesus. Life is never the same again were called to become touched and changed by the Masters hand was a him that we sometimes pray mold me makes me use me filming the Lord make make me a servant, follow me and I will make you fishers of men.
Apostle of love is discipleship a life of faith.
Following King Jesus do the voice of Jesus today. Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. We turn from and confess your sins change of mind, leading to a change of action and attitudes to enter the kingdom of heaven, then you must repent and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ on John three we read that Jesus said to Nicodemus unless your born-again. You cannot enter. You can't see the kingdom of God of your dependent children. The kingdom of God always was no need to panic as well. In terms of this present pandemic us followers of Jesus think my life is in his hands. I'm in the kingdom of God eternal life is guaranteed not because of what I've done, but what Christ is dominant in his grace is given me eternal life, and I'm his.
I'm a son of God, not to panic and another future know I am just to continue to humbly follow Jesus and to continue to learn of Jesus and to continue to be open to serve himself ask you is your life reflecting Jesus Christ on the principles of the kingdom of God permeating your life. Jesus is going to tell us what they are. In Matthew five, six and seven. As relearned today hear the call of Jesus, follow me and I will make you fishers of men. Answer the call be unauthentic disciple follow Jesus learn of Jesus serve Jesus.
I heard him call. Come follow.
That was all my gold grew dim. My soul went after him, who would not follow. If they had called to hear him call mass just at home to both quietly from what you're watching alone some of your with your family just above those of you here in the century just bow your head afresh. Can you hear the call of Jesus, follow me, follow me, your answer the call her father and her dog. We thank you for the clarity of the call of Jesus referred it unmistakably afresh with privilege that you would call us ordinary boys and girls in men and women, nothing special, and love ourselves but cold to follow King Jesus may even know some here in the century, many at home. Many traveling listening that the will answer the call and say I will follow Jesus. Give them humility father to turn from their sin and to embrace Christ and may we in these days of confusion and society, and uncertainty in the feeling of panic.
May we be steadfast, may we be people not of fear but of faith because we had the call of Jesus and were following him and we know that one great day he will lead us right into his eternal presence and will be with them throughout the countless ages of eternity. Meantime, help us to be faithful to love him to serve him with all of our hearts. In Christ name we pray