I’m taking a little break from Matthew for a number of weeks to preach a new series of messages starting next week.  But will pick up where we left off in Matthew after that.  This sermon is for Sunday, May 22nd.

Matthew part 9

For the sake of the call.

 Matthew 4:18-25 NIV – 18 As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. 19 “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” 20 At once they left their nets and followed him. 21 Going on from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John. They were in a boat with their father Zebedee, preparing their nets. Jesus called them, 22 and immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him.  23 Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people. 24 News about him spread all over Syria, and people brought to him all who were ill with various diseases, those suffering severe pain, the demon-possessed, those having seizures, and the paralyzed; and he healed them. 25 Large crowds from Galilee, the Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea and the region across the Jordan followed him.

Introduction

This morning we are preaching concerning Jesus calling four men who would become His disciples to follow Him.

Last time we looked at the proper response that accompanies true Gospel preaching.  It is not to repeat some “sinner’s prayer”; or to walk an aisle or join a church.  It is true heart-felt repentance from a heart that has been renewed by the Spirit as a result of the Gospel being preached.

This morning as we unpack this text, hopefully we will be able to see that the call of salvation is a specific call.  Now I do believe that there are two types of calls of salvation found within Scripture: (1) there is a general call – this call goes out to each person to repent of their sins and to believe the Gospel; (2) but there is also a specific call – this call goes out to specific individuals and it is a call with no questions asked, but simply to follow after Jesus.  It is this specific call that we are going to look at this morning.

According to Constable’s Expository notes, “The calling of these four men shows Jesus’ authority over people. The response of these disciples was appropriate in view of their summons by the King. They obeyed “immediately” (vv. 20, 22).”

So this is the rightful King of Israel calling forth royal subjects to follow Him.  Notice He doesn’t begin with people of renown, but Lowly fishermen.

This is great news for us.  The Spirit doesn’t call us to follow after Jesus because of our background or pedigree.  He calls us to follow Him because we are desperate sinners in need of a powerful Savior.

Let’s begin unpacking our text this morning.

The specific call to follow after Jesus.

Matthew 4:18-22 – 18 As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. 19 “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” 20 At once they left their nets and followed him. 21 Going on from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John. They were in a boat with their father Zebedee, preparing their nets. Jesus called them, 22 and immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him.  

 An uncommon call for common people.

  • Here we see two sets of fishermen who were brothers also: Simon Peter and Andrew, as well as James and John.
  • These were not men of noble birth, but common everyday fishermen – men who got dirty working with their hands to provide for their families.
  • This is not the first time that Andrew and Peter had an encounter with Jesus.  Andrew was a disciple of John the Baptist, and in John chapter 1 as Jesus is passing by, John declares, “Look, the Lamb of God!”  Andrew went and got his brother Simon and told him about Jesus saying, “We have found the Messiah”.  And when Andrew brought Simon to Jesus it was then that Jesus said, “You are Simon son of John. You will be called Cephas” (which, when translated, is Peter).
  • Now Jesus is calling them both, along with James and John to long term discipleship.
  • This is not a common call, but an uncommon one.  Notice that Jesus says, “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.”  Peter and Andrew spent their lives fishing for literal fish in order to feed their family and make a living.  Now Jesus calls them to leave those nets, take up the net of Gospel preaching and fish for people, not to kill them, but to save them from eternal destruction and to feed those they fish for with the only true food that produces eternal life – Jesus Christ.
  • Notice their response which is the same as James and John’s: At once they left their nets and followed him.”
  • Church, we to have been giving an uncommon call.  At salvation we’ve been called to forsake our former way of life – which is a life of sin – and following Christ and taking the net of the Gospel and throwing it out so that others might hear and be saved.
  • Our response to this call is rather simple; it is the same as the response of Peter, Andrew, James, and John – to forsake our life of sin and simple follow Jesus.
  • Those who don’t forsake their sinful ways and do not truly follow after Jesus are not truly disciples.

The ministry of the call.

Matthew 4:23 – Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people.

 The three primary activities of Jesus ministry.

  • Teaching His disciples, as well as within religious settings (synagogues).
  • Going and preaching the Good News of the Kingdom to the multitudes (those outside of the synagogue setting).
  • Healing those with every disease and sickness.
  • And here Peter, Andrew, James, and John are not only witnesses to these events, they are also students watching their teacher in action.  This is a time of learning.
  • You see, one day Christ Jesus, after His resurrection, will ascend into heaven, and then those who watched and observed – the disciples – would also be teaching disciples and within religious settings; going into the world to preach the Gospel of the Kingdom; and healing every disease and sickness through the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth.
  • Church, this is still the method that God uses to share the Gospel.  We must teach disciples in our church settings; we must go into the world and preach the Gospel of the Kingdom to everyone – those who receive and those who refuse to receive; and we must pray for those who are sick and diseased in the name of Jesus Christ, believing for God to heal them.
  • That is the ministry of the call: to teach, proclaim, and offer healing in the name of Jesus.

The result of the call.

Matthew 4:24-25 – 24 News about him spread all over Syria, and people brought to him all who were ill with various diseases, those suffering severe pain, the demon-possessed, those having seizures, and the paralyzed; and he healed them. 25 Large crowds from Galilee, the Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea and the region across the Jordan followed him.

  • People came to hear and experience the power of the Gospel.
  • While I don’t believe necessarily that large crowds will come to hear and experience the Gospel of the Kingdom when it is proclaimed; we can trust and believe God that He will bring people both within our church settings and as we go into the world to hear and believe and experience salvation through Jesus Christ.
  • We also must not be afraid to share the Gospel and pray for the needs of the people outside of our gatherings, God just might perform the miraculous out on the streets, or at a meal setting.

Conclusion

This morning, if you are a Christian, it is because God had called you specifically to follow after Him.  As follower’s of Jesus let’s teach His Word to other followers in our gathering together; let’s go out and share the Gospel of the Kingdom with those who are not follower’s of Christ; and let’s pray and believe the Lord to met their needs in Jesus name.  Let all that we do be for the sake of the call.

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