Jesus’ call transformed the lives of those who followed Him, but how did that call come to them? Tune in to learn a surprising fact that most don’t know about the call of the first disciples. We’ll be in Sections 21, 33, & 37 today @ https://www.harmonychurch.cc/tracking-jesus-timeline/. IT’S EASY TO GIVE, text any amount to (859) 459-0316 to get started (or give online @ my.harmonychurch.cc/give ).
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Do you remember getting picked for Dodgeball as kids? For some of you, this was like your favorite part of school sports. if you were like me, you hated the dodgeball pick. I’d stand there and watch as every other kid got picked until it finally came down to me, the chubby kid was pyand the scrawny kid with glasses who ate his boogers. They’d ALWAYS pick that kid and I’d be the one who they’d say, “I guess we’ll take Kent…”
I think they just figured I was an easier target than that kid…
Getting picked (or not picked) means more than most of us want to admit…
- Today, going to look at Jesus’ picks and how strange it seems at first blush
- Show how there’s more going on under the surface than you think
- and then come back and make a connection you might have missed that can really impact your life!
check it out…
16 As Jesus walked beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. 17 “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” 18 At once they left their nets and followed him.
19 When he had gone a little farther, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John in a boat, preparing their nets. 20 Without delay he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men and followed him.
I’ve heard this read a hundred times and every time what I’ve heard preachers preach about is the faith of these guys to hear Jesus say, “come, follow me” and they just follow…
Normally the focus is on, “at once they left their nets and followed him”
But that’s not the whole story…
Did you know Jesus had met these guys before?
John 1:35-51 (section 21)
Let me tell you the story
Jesus has been baptized by John and gone out into the desert to be tempted by Satan, he comes back, and when He comes back John the Baptist is there with some of his disciples, this is a dry desert area… people have come out to see what John is doing.. John has garnered followers and John sees Jesus – his relative coming up and he says this to two of his disciples:
36 When he saw Jesus passing by, he said, “Look, the Lamb of God!”
This is a huge statement… This is the second time he’s made this statement, the first time he says Jesus will take away the sins of the world…
There is this great interchange in John where these disciples start creeping on Jesus and He turns around and asks them what they want…
Turns out one of John’s disciples was Andrew – he gets his brother Peter to come and follow Jesus too.
This is way before Jesus walks up to Simon and Andrew and asks them to follow Him
- turns water into wine @ wedding in Cana
- Clears the temple
- Nicodemus visits him at night
- John B tells more about Jesus
- Herod puts John in Prison
- Jesus goes through Samaria to the woman at the well
- Samaritans believe
- Jesus finds out about John and goes to Galilee to preach
- Jesus heals a gov’t official’s son – Jesus is in Cana & the official is in Capernaum – Jesus says the son will live and he goes back and his son does live
- Jesus goes to Nazareth, they reject him and want to kill him
Jesus is back and forth between Jerusalem and Galilee over and over again… He’s teaching and healing people.
Have you ever done something and people undervalue what it took to get it done? I’ve heard people say how lucky we are to have great kids. Now, I’ll tell you – every kid has a personality and there is some luck involved. But you know as well as I do, it took a whole lot of perseverance and time for our kids to be who they are. And we are still investing in them…
When we act like these guys just follow Jesus because they had tremendous faith we do ourselves and the story a disservice…
These guys followed Jesus because experience & relationships all pointed them in the same direction. That following Jesus was life…
-Andrew investigated based on John the B’s statements
-Simon came because Andrew brought him
-John and James lived in the region where Jesus has been performing miracles…
We live in such a disconnected world where everything is about how hard YOU can work and YOU doing it all on your own that we miss that Jesus hardly ever did anything alone…
Listen, when you are surrounded by people who point you to Jesus and then you experience Jesus for yourself, it changes everything.
Luke (our Harmony places this in the wrong place in my opinion) gives more detail to this moment of disciples following Jesus…
3 He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little from shore. Then he sat down and taught the people from the boat.
4 When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.”
5 Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.”
6 When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. 7 So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink.
8 When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!” 9 For he and all his companions were astonished at the catch of fish they had taken, 10 and so were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, Simon’s partners.
Then Jesus said to Simon, “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will fish for people.” 11 So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him.
Peter had been introduced to Jesus through Andrew & John the Baptist and now He experienced Him for himself and there was no other response but to give himself to Jesus.
can I ask you a question?
Who are you surrounding yourself with?
Do they point you to Jesus?
I can just about guess that if you are struggling in your faith that you are not involved in faith friendships…
This is why we are so passionate about Connect Groups in our church:
When you are surrounded by people who point you to Jesus you are positioned to experience Jesus
We are trying our darnedest to get you into these relationships, but the reality is until you think it’s important – it won’t matter.
Your belief will always trump your behavior. so, if you believe that you can go at it alone, no matter how much you are struggling in your faith. You’ll never take that step. But if you believe that you can’t be an overcoming Christian in isolation, you will do whatever you can to be in community with others – you’ll join our next Spin off- you’ll choose to lead a group. You’ll get in relationships that point you so you can be positioned.
Imagine if the coach for the Cincinnati Reds showed up at your kid’s practice and watched your child play baseball. If the coach told you, “I’ve never seen someone with the talent your child has. You keep on this trajectory and I promise, I’ll be back in 4 years to bring them on my team” or, what if the coach said, “Dad, you’re wasting your time, your child doesn’t have what it takes, you could spend the next 30 years practicing and working skills and they’d never get to the level they need to.” Do you know the only difference in what you would do next? It would be your belief – your child hasn’t changed. But one direction your belief would lead you to put your kid in every opportunity possible to grow. The other belief would lead you to potentially abandon baseball and work on something you thought they could be successful in. All of it is based on belief.
If you don’t believe being in relationships is vital to your faith – you’ll never prioritize them
When I first came to Christ, I was lucky to find some guys who loved Jesus too. We were in High School – but we would get up every day an hour before school and meet together in a car to pray before school. We’d encourage each other and challenge each other. Still to this day, these guys point me to Jesus. You don’t know it, but often times I say in my sermons are a direct result of conversations I’ve had with these men. Because they point me to Jesus and it positions me to experience Him.
Where are you at on this journey? Some of you need to get signed up for our next spin off’s to start getting into those relationships. Some of you need to be the person who steps up and leads and points people – Amber has struggled to get leaders – maybe you need to step up to lead. Or maybe for you, you’ve started to experience Jesus and it’s time for you to accept His gift of real life.