In his recent teaching, Pastor Drew Shofner Lead Pastor at The Church at Severn Run spent time discussing the meaning and implication of Matthew 4:18-20 when Jesus said to Simon Peter and Andrew, “Follow me.”
Was Jesus only speaking to Simon Peter and Andrew… or was He speaking to all of us?
In Matthew 4:18-20, we find a pivotal moment in the life of Jesus and His disciples, where Jesus calls His first disciples-Simon Peter and Andrew. This passage holds great significance for Christians today as it not only reveals the nature of discipleship but also provides valuable insights into our responsibility in advancing the gospel or the teaching of Christ. Let’s delve into the meaning of this passage and explore its implications for Christians in their discipleship and gospel advancement efforts.
The passage begins with Jesus taking the initiative to call Simon Peter and Andrew. Jesus did not wait for them to come to Him; instead, He sought them out. This demonstrates that our discipleship and gospel advancement are not solely dependent on our own efforts but are a response to God’s divine call. God, in His grace, calls and invites us to join Him in His redemptive work.
Upon Jesus’ call, Simon Peter and Andrew respond in an extraordinary manner. They immediately leave their fishing nets and follow Jesus. This act signifies a radical abandonment of their former way of life. Similarly, as Christians today, we are called to respond wholeheartedly to Jesus’ invitation to follow Him. It requires leaving behind our old ways, surrendering our desires, and making Him the center of our lives.
By leaving their fishing nets, Simon Peter and Andrew embarked on a transformative journey with Jesus. They became His disciples, learning from Him, observing His actions, and imbibing His teachings. In the same way, Christian discipleship is a lifelong process of growth and transformation. It involves continually seeking Christ, studying His Word, and allowing His teachings to shape and mold us into His image.
Disciples Making Disciples:
Jesus’ call to Simon Peter and Andrew goes beyond their personal transformation. He commissions them to become “fishers of men.” Here, Jesus reveals the missional aspect of discipleship. As Christians, we are not called to hoard the blessings and teachings we receive but to share them with others. We are to actively engage in the advancement of the gospel by making disciples, introducing others to Jesus, and inviting them to experience the life-transforming power of His grace.
It is noteworthy that Jesus did not choose scribes, priests, or religious elites to be His first disciples. Instead, He called ordinary fishermen. This highlights the significance of relational discipleship. Jesus met Simon Peter and Andrew in the context of their everyday lives and invited them to walk with Him. Likewise, as followers of Christ, we are called to engage with people where they are, build authentic relationships, and share the gospel in a way that resonates with their unique circumstances.
When Simon Peter and Andrew left their fishing nets, they made a sacrificial commitment to follow Jesus. Discipleship demands sacrifice. It requires us to lay down our desires, take up our cross, and prioritize God’s kingdom above all else. This may involve sacrificing personal ambitions, comfort, and worldly attachments. It is through our sacrificial commitment that we demonstrate the true cost of discipleship and exhibit the radical love of Christ to the world.
Matthew 4:18-20 holds profound implications for Christians today. It reminds us that discipleship is not a mere intellectual pursuit or a passive adherence to religious rituals. Rather, it is an active, transformative journey that involves responding to Jesus’ call, following Him wholeheartedly, and actively engaging in the advancement of His kingdom.
As disciples, we are called to embody the teachings of Christ, make disciples, and demonstrate sacrificial love to those around us.