Submit to Jesus- Luke- Week 9- Day 2

(8)  When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord.  (9)  For he was astonished, and all that were with him, at the draught of the fishes which they had taken:  (10)  And so was also James, and John, the sons of Zebedee, which were partners with Simon. And Jesus said unto Simon, Fear not; from henceforth thou shalt catch men.

Luke 5:8-10

And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.

Matthew 4:19 

Explanation:

By observing 4 responses found in this passage we can know what it means to follow Jesus in discipleship.

Response #2- Submit

Simon Peter saw the evidence of the working of Jesus.  They saw His Work and properly identified Him as more than a rabbi.  When He experienced the power of God, and recognized Him as Holy, the right response was to submit to His authority, and recognize His own sinfulness.  The very presence of Jesus became a testimony against the sinfulness of Simon Peter.  And so his right response to this miracle was an attitude of submission.

Application:

It is one thing to identify Jesus correctly.  This is absolutely necessary.  But it is not enough to just identify Jesus as God. We must respond in submission to Him. We must recognize who we are in relation to His idenity. When we recognize HIm as Lord then we must recognize ourselves as sinful.  This is much like Isaiah’s response when He encountered the Holiness and power of God in His call in Isaiah 6.

In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple.  (2)  Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly.  (3)  And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory.  (4)  And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke.  (5)  Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.

Isaiah 6:1-5

The right response to the identity of Jesus is submission to Him.  We recognize our sin and confess Him as Lord and Savior.

Response:

  • When was the last time that you were not submissive to the will of Christ?  How should you respond to that?

Following Jesus in Discipleship: Luke- Week 9- Day 1

And it came to pass, that, as the people pressed upon him to hear the word of God, he stood by the lake of Gennesaret,  (2)  And saw two ships standing by the lake: but the fishermen were gone out of them, and were washing their nets.  (3)  And he entered into one of the ships, which was Simon’s, and prayed him that he would thrust out a little from the land. And he sat down, and taught the people out of the ship.  (4)  Now when he had left speaking, he said unto Simon, Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught.   (5)  And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net.  (6)  And when they had this done, they inclosed a great multitude of fishes: and their net brake.  (7)  And they beckoned unto their partners, which were in the other ship, that they should come and help them. And they came, and filled both the ships, so that they began to sink.

Luke 5:1-7

Explanation:

When it came to the culture in Jesus’ day, you need understand that education, especially religious education, was highly valued.  Synagogues were used from an early age to teach kids in the law.  Robby Gallaty, in his book “Rediscovering Discipleship” tells about how children, starting at age 5, went through the first of three potential stages of schooling.

The first stage was called Bet Sefer, which means “House of the Book”.  At this level boys and girls were taught to read and write using the Torah.

The second stage was called Bet Talmud, which means the “House of Learning”, where they would study the rest of the books of the Old Testament and some oral teaching.

The best of the best would go on to the third stage, called the Bet Midrash or “the house of study”.  Not all that tried to get to this stage passed the test to get in.  Those who did not would end their formal education and go back to learn and take on the trade of their family.  There is honor in good hard work in the trade that was taught by a parent and handed down to a child.  Yet, we know that if a person was in one of those trades, they did not make the cut to be the best of the best.  This level of study was entered into by a disciple following a rabbi.  The disciple would go to the rabbi and try to make the cut.  The rabbi would ask questions of the would-be disciple, and see if he was bright enough to become one of his disciples.  The best rabbi’s would wait for the best students to line up and be considered a disciple.  He would ask them difficult questions.  If the pupil made the cut, the rabbi would tell him “Lech Aharai” which could be translated as “follow me” or “walk after me”.  This meant that they would now be the disciple of that rabbi.  By saying to them “walk after me”, they were saying “go where I go, act like I act, learn what I know, and do what I say”.    The term “follow me” had that kind of cultural connotation.  When you say the word “semper fi” in our culture you think of the marines. In that culture everyone knew what “follow me” meant.  It meant that a formal relationship to become a disciple was being offered.

In our day people revere names of Ivy League schools.  Names like Harvard and Yale carry weight in some academic circles.  In that day the best disciples wanted to follow the best and most well-known rabbis.  Rabbi’s wanted to have notable disciples.  Do you remember that the apostle Paul was a disciple of Gamaliel?

I am verily a man which am a Jew, born in Tarsus, a city in Cilicia, yet brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, and taught according to the perfect manner of the law of the fathers, and was zealous toward God, as ye all are this day. 

Acts 22:3

If a disciple heard “follow me” from a rabbi, they would enter into this relationship at about 14 and would learn until they themselves could become a rabbi, which happened at about 30 years old.

Jesus, a master teacher and rabbi, is doing what rabbi’s do, but He is different.  He is not just a mere rabbi.  It is clear in this passage that He is God.

Jesus has a master plan.  Often it may seem that what He was doing was random, but we must remember that He was definitely not random or arbitrary in His ministry.

His plan was to call disciples, but the good news is he wasn’t waiting for the most qualified to come to Him.  Instead, He went out to people who were not qualified as the world deems qualification.  He looked for and called ordinary men, and then made them qualified.  Men were His method.

Then he sent the men he discipled out on the same mission- to make disciples.

So today, this is your calling and mine as well.  God’s will for you and I is to not just be converts, but to be disciples.  How do we follow Christ in discipleship?

By observing 4 responses found in this passage we can know what it means to follow Jesus in discipleship.

Response #1- Identify

And it came to pass, that, as the people pressed upon him to hear the word of God, he stood by the lake of Gennesaret,  

Jesus is teaching.  He is an incredible teacher.  Jesus teaches as one having authority.  He doesn’t have to appeal to other of his contemporary teachers.  He, being God in the flesh, teaches of His own authority.

Here he is on the shores of the lake of Gennesaret, otherwise known as the sea of Galilee.

(2)  And saw two ships standing by the lake: but the fishermen were gone out of them, and were washing their nets.  (3)  And he entered into one of the ships, which was Simon’s, and prayed him that he would thrust out a little from the land. And he sat down, and taught the people out of the ship. 

The word “ships” here is a good translation, because these were fishing boats that were large enough to have several fisherman, plus helpers.  This was Simon’s boat, which we know later there were 12 disciples plus Jesus in either this ship itself or a ship like it.

There were so many people coming to see Jesus and hear him speak that they were pressing him toward the water.  Jesus gets on to Simon’s boat to use it as a sort of makeshift platform.  Being on the water creates great acoustics. 

He gets in the boat and asks Simon to push him out into the water to give enough distance between the crowd and him.

Now here we see two parts to Jesus ministry.

Jesus taught publicly to large crowds, but He also poured His life into a small group of men.  It’s obvious He has been working in the life of Simon, who He will later rename Peter.  He does something in his life here to help Him respond rightly.

Look at Jesus’ command.

(4)  Now when he had left speaking, he said unto Simon, Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught. 

Think about this imperative.  He is telling them to go back out, which means taking the boats back out, fishing in the middle of the day, and getting their nets that they were just  cleaning dirty again.

In a sense they could have been thinking, “You’re a rabbi, not a fisherman.  You’re good at Bible things, and we know about lake things.”

Jesus was asking them to do something that tested their faith in him.  I’m sure they did not totally understand why He was asking them to do something like this.  Look at Simon’s response:

(5)  And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net.

The term master would have been a traditional way to address a rabbi.  Simon had a respect for Jesus, but His perspective on Jesus was about to grow.  He tells Jesus reasons why this command made no natural sense.  If they hadn’t caught anything at night when fishing was good, why would they catch anything in the day, while the fishing was bad?

Yet, Simon obeyed.  Notice what happened as a result of his obedience. 

(6)  And when they had this done, they inclosed a great multitude of fishes: and their net brake.  (7)  And they beckoned unto their partners, which were in the other ship, that they should come and help them. And they came, and filled both the ships, so that they began to sink.

What an incredible miracle.  They did what did not make sense to them because they were obeying Jesus. They were overwhelmed at the catch.  They called the other ship over to help with the catch. They filled up both boats until they were both riding very low in the water.

Jesus Christ demonstrated his knowledge and control over the natural world.  It is clear through this miracle that Jesus is not just any other rabbi. Jesus is God, and He wants his disciples to know it.  He wanted them to identify Him correctly.

Application:

When it comes to following Jesus as one of His disciples, we must identify Him correctly.  He is not just another teacher.  He is not just another religious figure, like all of the others.  He’s not a meme.  He is not just a good example.  Jesus Christ is God.  He teaches of His own authority because He is God.  He is in control over the created universe because He is Creator God.  As Creator He has a right to call us to follow Him in discipleship.  It is His grace and mercy to call us to this high calling.

To follow Jesus rightly, we must identify Him correctly.  He is the Lord Jesus Christ!

Response:

What is keeping you from being one of the disciples of Jesus?  Do you see Jesus as an authority?  Do you believe that He is God and therefore Lord over your life?

Luke- Week 8- Day 5

And all they in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath,  (29)  And rose up, and thrust him out of the city, and led him unto the brow of the hill whereon their city was built, that they might cast him down headlong.  (30)  But he passing through the midst of them went his way,  (31)  And came down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee, and taught them on the sabbath days.

Luke 4:28-31

Explanation:

Rejection did not stop him.  The people that knew him the longest had rejected His message, identity and mission.  Imagine the ending of your sermon to your hometown being them coming to the front to grab you and take you out to execute you.  This is what was happening to Jesus.  They grabbed Him intending to throw Him off of a cliff, but Jesus performed the supernatural.  This was not His time to die.  He supernaturally got away from them, “passing through the midst of them” and continued on His mission.  Where did He go?  “And came down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee, and taught them on the sabbath days”.  This even did not end His teaching ministry.

There are three attitudes exhibited by Jesus’ hometown that caused them to miss the Messiah.  We should be careful to examine our lives and reject these attitudes.

What attitudes cause us to reject the Messiah?

1. Familiarity

And all bare him witness, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth. And they said, Is not this Joseph’s son?  


Luke 3:22

Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended at him.

Mark 6:3

If we are not careful we can become familiar with Jesus.  We can believe that because we know about Jesus that we have trusted in Jesus.  We can believe that because we are American that means we are Christian.  We can believe that because we do good things we are saved. We can believe that because we go to church and sing the songs and got baptized we know Jesus as our Savior. If there was never a time where we confessed our need for a Savior to God and turned to Christ for salvation we are yet in our sins.  And even for those of us who know Christ as Savior, we can get in the routine and habit of religious practice and miss out on what God wants to do because of familiarity.  Every time we meet we should ask, “God what do you want me to do today.  How should I respond to your word?  How do I need to change?”  We should come to church with expectation.  God, who is going to get saved today? What are you going to do today?

2. Apathy

And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;  (15)  I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.  (16)  So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.

Revelation 3:14-16

Revelation 3″

In Revelation Jesus tells John to write a letter to seven different churches.  The one written to the church of Laodicea encapsulates how they, as believers, were missing out on what God wanted to do in them and through them.  There was an apathy.  They were saved, but they weren’t continuing to grow in their relationship with Christ.  They were lukewarm, neither hot nor cold. They were apathetic.  And Jesus said, in effect, you make me want to vomit!

3. Self-Deception

(17)  Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:  

Revelation 3:17

These people were self-deceived.  They had convinced themselves that they were ok when they were not. We can get there, too.  We can believe that we are saved because we believe about Jesus but haven’t trusted in Jesus.  We can believe that we are right with God as believers, when really our relationship with God isn’t what it ought to be. 

Application:

If we are waking up to this reality what do we do?  What is the solution?

Passionate repentance and belief in Jesus!

(18)  I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.  (19)  As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.  (20)  Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.

Revelation 3:18-20

Response:

Are you missing out on Jesus because of some wrong attitude?  Repent today!

Luke- Week 8- Day 2

(16) And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read.  
(17)  And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written, (18)  The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,  (19)  To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.  (20)  And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him.

Luke 4:16-17

Explanation:
The Messiah’s Mission

“and stood up for to read”

This showed reverance for the scripture as the Word of God. This would have been a scroll brought to Him. He unrolls it, and reads. The scripture about to be read is found in Isaiah 61:1-2.

These were people that knew Jesus. Many of them would have known of Him His whole life. He had come to this synagouge throughout His entire life. They also would have been in a culture looking for deliverance from Rome and a coming messiah.

So they hear Jesus read a messianic passage that refers to:

  • the poor
  • the brokenhearted
  • the captives
  • the blind
  • and the bruised.

No doubt they may have felt this way as a nation. No doubt they thought that when the Messiah was going to come, He would help bring a fix to all of these problems- poverty, captivity, blindness and the like. But this text that Jesus read was not referring exclusively to physical poverty, emotional trauma, imprisonment, physical disability and injury.
In this passage it gives metaphors about the state of the sinner and what salvation is like.
Sinners are poor, having nothing to offer God that will take away their sin debt on their own. Sinners are spiritually sick and in need of healing. Sinners are held captive by their sin and in need of release. Sinners are blind, unable to see themselves rightly.
They hear Jesus read this passage that also refers to this personal pronoun “me”.

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me…
…to heal
…to preach
…to recover
…to set at liberty

Normally after the reading there would have been some exposition. When it says that “he sat down”, this was the normal position of the person that gives the teaching after the reading. Teachers in that day sat down.
The scripture says that all of the eyes were “fastened” on Jesus after he read this. What would he say about this scripture? Did he have new insight into this scripture? He has been teaching with authority through all of Caperneum. There were stories about Him being “born of a virgin”. John the Baptist was His cousin and had said some big things about Him. What is he going to say?

Jesus is reading a passage that says that when the Messiah comes he will be all about salvation. These descriptions are metaphors about what the Messiah is going to do for those who are in need. This will be His mission.

Application:
It is important for us to understand that mission of the Messiah was to seek and to save that which was lost. That is the mission that He gave to us. We cannot save, but we can introduce people to the One who can. This was His mission, and it is still His desire.

Response:
Who do you need to tell about Christ today?