The Call of the Disciple

The following day John was again standing with two of his disciples. As Jesus walked by, John looked at him and declared, “Look! There is the Lamb of God!” When John’s two disciples hear this, they followed him. (: 35-37 NLT)

Then Eli realized it was the LORD who called the boy. So he said to Samuel, “Go and lie down again, and if some calls again, say, “Speak, LORD, you servant is listening.” (b-9a NLT)

So Ananias went and found Saul,. He laid his hands on him and said. “Brother Saul, The Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the Road, has sent me so that you might regain sight and be filled with the Holy spirit.” NLT)

Three times, three ways. Men were called to be followers of God. And today, many are still called. Maybe not like Samuel, Andrew Simon or Paul but we are all called. And we are each called to serve a distinct and powerful purpose. We may feel unqualified, in adequate or be reluctant but we are still called. With Samuel it was by a dream. What dream calls you? What special cause draws you to do what you think is godly, holy and purposeful? It may well be a call of God. A chance to do something for His Sake without being aware of it. Do not shy away from your dream if it is a good dream, a goal worthy to pursue. Seek out the avenues that might make your dream come true. Like my friend Elaine who went to Haiti and started an orphanage, or Wendy who quit her job to go to Zimbabwe to work in refuge camps. Or like my friend Mike who started a home group for recovering addicts and Dave who works at a kitchen feeding the homeless. Or like others who simply form prayer groups for women. There is always something that needs to be done, some grand and some simply comforting. Some take a lot of effort, some a lot of time. But each dream is worth fulfilling.

Some disciples are called by the understandings of others, to follow a teaching, a mission or to study the word. As Andrew and the others, John, James, Simon Peter who when they heard the Word, gave up everything to devote their lives to Jesus. You look at the twelve Jesus took on as his “special friends”: four fishermen (a dirty, smelly job), a Tax collector (legalized extortion), laborers and craftsmen. None were people who held prominence in the community. Yet each of these went on to become teachers. Teachers that changed the world. Mark was a mere boy when Jesus talked about creating a new life. Luke wasn’t even in the picture, Paul (Saul) was in Taurus studying to be a pharisee. Jude didn’t even like him. Barnabas was a fan but not in the inner circle. Yet each became important to the message. They were disciples ore who followed the ones who followed Jesus. What Is conveyed is that those who follow a teaching become the teachers of others. Here are two components of Discipleship, 1) having a dream, 2) following a dreamer.

Then you have the third, the reluctant disciple. The one who not only resists the dream and the followers of the dreamers but contend with the dream. Saul of Taurus. The villain of the Way! The one who went looking to quench the dream. This is the one who is hit on the head by lightening. But this man became the most aggressive believer of all. The “converted” disciple is the most energetic of disciples as a rule. As it was with many others who fought with God about doing His will, Jacob became Israel (He who contends with God), As Jonah, as Elisha fleeing Jezebel. Each fleeing the will of God, become mighty in His strength. Now I won’t say that we are as bad as all that, but we each have a tendency to not want to hear what God wants for us and we are reluctant to move out of our comfort zones. We don’t want to take giant steps, we want to stay safe, secure and minimalism our potential. Perhaps you are Ananias, who did not want to meet with Saul for fear of his life. We are the reluctant disciples for different reasons. But we must put these things aside if we are to become real disciples of Jesus.

What we need to become is “converted” to the idea, to the dream, to the dreamers. We need to waken to the call. We need to either have a dream or follow someone’s dream of faith. I am a dreamer, I freely admit that. But I have few who dare to follow the dream. My dream is simple, the unity of Faith. The concept that the church divided is no longer Church but nothing more than broken pots. Shattered vessels lost to any good purpose. My dream is to mend the pots, to reform by union of Faith. We have to many churches, to many divisions, to many half truths being spread. Jesus did not come to divide the people, but to unify them with the Father, to join us to Himself. Why then are there so many “faiths” without true God Faith? Will you join in the discipleship of the One? Will you follow Jesus, do as He commands? Do as He desires? Will you listen to those who follow Him? Will you stop resisting Him?

I listened to those who heard His voice, I walked with those who walked His Way, I gave up fighting Him. Will you also do this? Will you be an Andrew, a Samuel, a Saul of Taurus? Will you be a Francis of Assisi? A Dr. Livingston? A Martin Luther King? A Teresa of Calcutta? An Elaine of Haiti? a Mike who consuls the addicted? Even a Dave who feeds the homeless. Whatever you do, let it be a call of God, a vision of kindness and a grace of mercy.

Adhere to the call, however small or great it may be, adhere to it for as James said do not let your faith die by inaction. Blessing to all.


Listen

1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, [1] and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light.

The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. 11 He came to his own, [2] and his own people [3] did not receive him. 12 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. 15 (John bore witness about him, and cried out, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks before me, because he was before me.’”) 16 And from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. 17 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has ever seen God; the only God, [4] who is at the Father’s side, [5] he has made him known.

19 And this is the testimony of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?” 20 He confessed, and did not deny, but confessed, “I am not the Christ.” 21 And they asked him, “What then? Are you Elijah?” He said, “I am not.” “Are you the Prophet?” And he answered, “No.” 22 So they said to him, “Who are you? We need to give an answer to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?” 23 He said, “I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness, ‘Make straight [6] the way of the Lord,’ as the prophet Isaiah said.”

24 (Now they had been sent from the Pharisees.) 25 They asked him, “Then why are you baptizing, if you are neither the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?” 26 John answered them, “I baptize with water, but among you stands one you do not know, 27 even he who comes after me, the strap of whose sandal I am not worthy to untie.” 28 These things took place in Bethany across the Jordan, where John was baptizing.

29 The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! 30 This is he of whom I said, ‘After me comes a man who ranks before me, because he was before me.’ 31 I myself did not know him, but for this purpose I came baptizing with water, that he might be revealed to Israel.” 32 And John bore witness: “I saw the Spirit descend from heaven like a dove, and it remained on him. 33 I myself did not know him, but he who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain, this is he who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’ 34 And I have seen and have borne witness that this is the Son of God.”

35 The next day again John was standing with two of his disciples, 36 and he looked at Jesus as he walked by and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God!” 37 The two disciples heard him say this, and they followed Jesus. 38 Jesus turned and saw them following and said to them, “What are you seeking?” And they said to him, “Rabbi” (which means Teacher), “where are you staying?” 39 He said to them, “Come and you will see.” So they came and saw where he was staying, and they stayed with him that day, for it was about the tenth hour. [7] 40 One of the two who heard John speak and followed Jesus [8] was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. 41 He first found his own brother Simon and said to him, “We have found the Messiah” (which means Christ). 42 He brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, “So you are Simon the son of John? You shall be called Cephas” (which means Peter [9]).

43 The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, “Follow me.” 44 Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. 45 Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found him of whom Moses in the Law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” 46 Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.” 47 Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him and said of him, “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom there is no deceit!” 48 Nathanael said to him, “How do you know me?” Jesus answered him, “Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.” 49 Nathanael answered him, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!” 50 Jesus answered him, “Because I said to you, ‘I saw you under the fig tree,’ do you believe? You will see greater things than these.” 51 And he said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, [10] you will see heaven opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.” (ESV)

Footnotes

[1] 1:4 Or was not any thing made. That which has been made was life in him
[2] 1:11 Greek to his own things; that is, to his own domain, or to his own people
[3] 1:11 People is implied in Greek
[4] 1:18 Or the only One, who is God; some manuscripts the only Son
[5] 1:18 Greek in the bosom of the Father
[6] 1:23 Or crying out, ‘In the wilderness make straight
[7] 1:39 That is, about 4 p.m.
[8] 1:40 Greek him
[9] 1:42 Cephas and Peter are from the word for rock in Aramaic and Greek, respectively
[10] 1:51 The Greek for you is plural; twice in this verse


Listen

And the Lord called Samuel again the third time. And he arose and went to Eli and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” Then Eli perceived that the Lord was calling the young man. (ESV)


Listen

17 So Ananias departed and entered the house. And laying his hands on him he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus who appeared to you on the road by which you came has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” (ESV)

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