So Jesus decides to go for a walk on the beach, in His new beach front home of Capernaum. He’s doing this intentionally, because He knows that Capernaum is a fishing village, and on the beach He is bound to find fishermen. This provided a fertile location to officially call His first disciples. By this point, they had already seen and heard Jesus ministry. Now He must give them an opportunity to respond. You see, Jesus needs you to know that the Kingdom has already begun to dawn in your life when…
You Make Disciples of Those who Respond to the Light
There was a young lady from our grow group in Laurel who tutored people in math. It happened one day that she met another young lady named Mandy to tutor her and help her pass the math section of her GED. During one session she discovered that Mandy was going through a really dark time in her life. She put the tutoring aside, began to encourage her and offered to pray with her. Mandy was not very religious, but now that the light was beginning to dawn, she started to ask questions about Jesus and the Bible. The young lady from our Grow Group developed such a relationship with Mandy that she began to come along side her in life and became a spiritual mentor to her. This naturally lead her to invite Mandy to become apart of our Grow Group, which became her spiritual family as she started to learn what it meant to become a follower of Jesus. You see, because Mandy was responding to the light of God’s love, the young lady from our grow group began to invest time in Mandy’s life and began to disciple her into what it means to be a disciple of Jesus Christ.
Matthew wants you to know that this is what Jesus had in mind when He walked the beach that day in Capernaum. And because we’re followers of Jesus, there are three things that He wants us to see and replicate when making disciples. First, Jesus targeted people were He lived. Basically He sought Peter, Andrew, James and John from His own neighborhood. Second, He approached families and by association, their friends. Peter and Andrew were brothers and James and John were brothers. They knew each other and were business partners, which leads to the third thing. Jesus approached them at their workplace. By living in a fishing village and calling them as fisherman, He met them where they were at and used it as a metaphor for what He would disciple them into… fishers of people. The neighborhood, family and workplace were the spaces where they spent most of their time and it was the spaces Jesus entered into to call them.
Now Rabbi’s having disciples follow them was common during this time and place in which Jesus lived. Typically the most educated and learned people in the scriptures would find a Rabbi they wanted to be like and ask them if they could follow them. Jesus was different from these Rabbi’s, because He came and pursued those that were not the most educated, the outcasts and said, “Follow Me.” Ellen White says
What a beautiful picture of the love of God, finding us and calling anyone that will respond to the Light! When disciples followed a Rabbi or teacher, they weren’t just trying to learn everything that they knew, but they intensely tried to imitate or replicate everything that the Rabbi was. The teachings where in the context of following a Person. They were to become like the Rabbis. This is why Jesus said, “Follow Me” …the Person.
So as you follow Jesus, He then calls you to make disciples like He did. This is what Paul meant in 1 Corinthians 11:1 when he says, “Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ.” God has placed you in your family, neighborhood, school and job because there are some people He has there that are ready to respond to the Light. He enters those spaces through you. Jesus entered the lives of 12 men and invested time pouring into them so they could pattern their lives after His and learn His teaching. Within the 12, He had three that He especially mentored to be like Him. What would happen if you asked God for three people for you to mentor and show how to follow Jesus by your own example and then you teach the three of them to choose three people themselves for them to disciple. Just like Jesus you would have a group of 12 people being discipled. What if this process continued and you began to multiply groups. Sounds like the dawn of a movement to me.
This is what Jesus started when He called those fishermen to follow Him. They left there dad at the fishing boat and joined the movement. Now Matthew shows us the incredible impact this had in verse 23…
“CJ” Claypole S. Cousins Jr. is simply a man who is in love with Jesus. His passion is to live, preach and teach the Gospel of Jesus Christ. In addition to preaching and teaching, CJ also loves to sing and write about Jesus. He also serves as the pastor for Youth, Young Adults and Children at Vienna SDA Church in Vienna, VA.