Character of Jesus 10

The Character of Jesus 10

Calling the First Four Disciples

Matthew 4:12 – 22, Mark 1:16 – 20, Luke 5:1 – 11

  • Characteristic:  Developing future leaders
    • Choosing a base of operations
      • Galilee was much safer.  The leaders of the Jews were all in Jerusalem.
      • Capernaum was a major city; Nazareth was a farm town.
      • The more religious Jews considered this region all but Hellenized.  Jews of Galilee were not considered as wayward as those of the Dispersion, but definitely religiously suspect.  Yet, Jesus spent considerable time with them.  This was like in the time of Isaiah (7:1 – 10:11) when the northern part of the Northern Kingdom was free again, allied with Syria against Judah.  Having been victorious, the regions of Zebulon and Naphtali enjoyed their first prosperity in a long time (2 Chronicles 28, 2 Kings 16).  Galilee was destroyed and deported by Assyria in Isaiah’s time, and by Rome in 70 AD.
    • Continuing the work of John the Baptist
      • Stirring up interest in the promised eternal kingdom
      • Preparing those who were interested (repent).
    • Not waiting for volunteers
      • Some of them had been disciples of John (John 1:35 – 42).
      • They had other things to do.
    • Using their talents
      • Borrowed the boat
      • Paid unusual rent
  • Application
    • Position ourselves to be seen by those who need it most.
      • Conventional churches tend to ignore those on the fringes of polite society.
      • Since the fringes tend not to generate much in the way of contributions, establishes churches will not cause trouble.
    • Develop interest in the big picture, not the minutia.
      • Outsiders with an interest in God want to know the end game, not the rules.
      • Keep it simple.
    • Avoid trying to start in the middle of established religious authority.
      • Conventional churches are unlikely to change.
      • Disrupting mainstream religion takes too much time and yields little.
    • Ask religious people to step up.
      • The clergy mentality means that ordinary people have no expectations of themselves.
      • Be direct.  Don’t try to ease them into it.
    • Worldly talents are still useful.
      • People are comfortable with the skills used to make a living.  Allow some success in familiar areas.
      • The clergy mentality assumes that worldly talents are not useful.
      • Develop people over years, expecting big mistakes.  Jesus spent three years developing and they still didn’t have it all together.