Text: John 1:35-51
Previous week we looked at the call of the disciple. The fact that Jesus chooses, draws and challenges those He calls.
This message looks briefly at what happens to us when we respond to the call and make the decision become a disciple of Jesus. Doing this, will help us to see ourselves as God sees us and help us to make adjustments, that will enable us to grow in our personal walk with Jesus.
Andrew and the other disciple were so inquisitive that Jesus asked them ‘What are you seeking?’ The fact is that they simply wanted to know more about Jesus. They were willing to listen. They were willing to be taught. They wanted to learn. Just having a desire to know more about Jesus is a good place to start.
Jesus still calls people and asks them to ‘Come and See.’ The response of Jesus was to teach them. Every disciple goes through this stage. We want to know about Jesus. We want to hear more about God and how He works in people’s lives.
Some characteristic traits of being a Jesus follower, Student of Jesus, a disciple.
John 1:41 He first found his own brother Simon and said to him, “We have found the Messiah” (which means Christ).
It tells us that Andrew having heard, was convinced that Jesus was the Messiah. He was so thoroughly convinced that he ran and told Peter his brother. Part of the process of discipleship (becoming a disciple) is when we become convinced that Jesus is the Messiah, the saviour, the rescuer who can help us. There comes a point at which the initial curiosity turns to a realisation that Jesus is really everything He said He is. This revelation is the work of the Holy Spirit in our minds revealing truth to us because we looked for it.
Acts 17:26-27 26 And He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, 27 that they should seek God and perhaps feel their way toward Him and find Him. Yet He is actually not far from each one of us,
Jesus said that if we seek Him, we will find Him
Jeremiah 29:13 You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.
Matthew 7:7 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock and it will be opened to you.”
Matthew 4:18-28 describes the call of Peter and his brother Andrew. They had no doubt heard Jesus speak many times and they were convinced but they were not yet disciples. Jesus asks them to ‘Follow Him’.
This is the commitment stage, it involves immediately leaving what they were doing and following Jesus. It is possible that even though they were convinced of Jesus’s claims that they might not have been willing to leave everything to follow Jesus and yet had they refused they would not have been the disciples of Jesus.
The same applies to us today there are some who are convinced who Jesus is but are not yet ready to follow Him. – What are you missing out on because of your delay?
To be a disciple of Jesus we must have this kind of commitment. To refuse to give up all for Jesus, implies that there is something else we are following/chasing after after that we feel is more important than Jesus.
In dealing with this attitude of a divided heart, Jesus is recorded in Luke 14:26-27 as saying: “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple.
Jesus wants to show us the reality of truth that our jobs, our families, our ambitions and even our own lives must come after our commitment to Him.
This does not mean that we can neglect our families or do our jobs poorly. The Bible teaches very clearly our commitment to them. It is simply that Jesus must come first and out of the overflow of putting Him first, allows us to be a better husband or wife, a better parent, a better employee.
God is not looking for people who are only prepared to be involved, He is looking for people that are totally committed. Commitment is an essential quality of discipleship. With that kind of commitment we can change the world. The privilege of being called to serve Christ merits no less than our willingness to lay down our lives in His service.
Work of The Holy Spirit
We cannot talk about becoming a disciple without talking about the person of the Holy Spirit because He’s the one who shows us our need. He is the one who convicts and convinces us of our sin and our need of Jesus.
John 16:8 (Jesus) And when He comes, He will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment:
By ourselves we fail to realise the hold that sin has upon us. There are many people who are in bondage to sin, encumbered by sin and have a desire to be free. However, the freedom they long for can only be realised, when they see and acknowledge their true need of Jesus. The Holy Spirit Makes Us New (Regenerates)
God is spirit and in order to know God we must be spiritually alive. The spirit of man is the part of man that is sensitive to God. Original sin caused a spiritual death which cut off our fellowship with God. When we become a disciple however, our spirit is born again it is made new. We become spiritually aware and are never the same. We become a new creation. Just as the body is sensitive through the five senses to the physical world around us, so the spirit enables us to know God.
The Bible encourages us to taste, see, hear, touch and to feel the presence of God with our spirits.
Romans 8:16 tells us that the day we cry Abba, Father, the Holy Spirit bears witness with our spirit that we are truly a child of God. Until someone is assured of their salvation they have no use for God. The Holy Spirit teaches us, convinces us of who we are in God.
The Bible tells us that the main problem that we have is that we had turned and chosen to go our own way separate from God. When we become a disciple we come out of the kingdom of darkness where we were ruled by Satan through our own self-will. And we come into the kingdom of light where we can be ruled by God.
There are three simple steps that moves us from our rule and places us under God’s rule.
First, is turn from our way the Bible calls this repentance and that means we choose to stop doing things our own way. Turning away from selfish desire.
Second, Choose to do things God’s way by accepting Jesus. Receive the forgiveness that Jesus secured for us. Start living not according to your own desires, ambition or agenda but by God’s and enter into relationship with God through Jesus blood.
Third, Die to our own way and to self. Lay down self Walk God’s way through the enabling and power of the Holy Spirit. He gives us the power to live God’s way, to God’s standards. This is not a privilege reserved for the few. It is the gift of God made available to every believer.
Let’s humbly accept God’s gift.