Category Archives: Gospel of Matthew

A Discipleship Exercise

I want you to picture in your mind this scene from the Gospel of Matthew,

“18 As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. 19 “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” 20 At once they left their nets and followed him.

21 Going on from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John. They were in a boat with their father Zebedee, preparing their nets. Jesus called them, 22 and immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him.”

Matthew 4:18-22

Can you see it?

Jesus is walking down the shore. The waves are rolling up. The smell of the sea is strong. He walks up to some boats where some men are casting nets. Jesus breaks the silence with a simple directive, “Come, follow me…and I will send you out to fish for people.” Immediately the men drop everything and follow Jesus.

They continue down the beach toward another fishing boat. Now imagine some men in the boats mending their nets. Jesus speaks once more with a similar invitation. Like the first time the men leave everything, even their father and follow Jesus.

This now larger group continues down the shore when you notice another lone person standing there. This person has been watching it all unfold. They have a nervous look on their face…the look like someone who seems to think maybe they shouldn’t have eavesdropped on all of this. But you also notice a look of hope and anticipation as if their expression is saying, “Maybe he will call me too?!?”

Zoom in on that person…that pilgrim. Look past what they are wearing and how they are standing…look closely at their face and you will notice something quite familiar – that person is you!

Jesus turns to you and what does he say? Jesus looks right at you and he invites you to follow him as well! Oh glorious day! You have been invited. You are wanted and belong. Jesus looked at you with love in his eyes and called you too!

Before we can embrace discipleship we need to revisit the idea of calling. If you are a Christian you have been called to follow Jesus. Now drop everything and walk the shore with Jesus to the next person you find. Only this time, Jesus asks you to invite them along. Welcome to discipleship.

From Disciple to Apostle – Their Shift is Our Shift

Jesus didn’t just teach his disciples. He also sent them out to teach what he taught (the kingdom) and do what he did (heal people). We see this in the sending of the 12 and the 72 in the gospels. In Matthew 10:1-2 we get a very interesting shift in language, ” Jesus called hisContinue Reading

The Sermon on the Mount and the Power of Self-Deception

The sermon on the mount is one of the most powerful sermons ever preached. Maybe there is a lesson to be learned that one of Jesus’ longest sermons was only a few minutes long if we have the whole thing recorded. Sometimes less is more. But in these three chapters of Matthew (5-7) Jesus givesContinue Reading

Prophets Unaware

Several times in scripture we have people doing things that are prophetic without them recognizing it. There are several instances in the Gospels where the Gospel writer informs us of what is going on. One of those instances is in John 11. After Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead the Jewish leaders began plotting asContinue Reading

What Do We Know About Joseph?

The New Testament doesn’t give us an awful lot of information about Joseph but we do know a few things from what we have in Matthew, Luke and John. First, we know that Joseph was Jewish and a descendant of David and originally from Bethlehem. Matthew tells us that in his genealogy in Matthew 1.Continue Reading

Re-envisioning the Manger: 7 Common Misconceptions about the Nativity of Jesus

A few fun facts about the ancient world and the birth of Jesus. 1.  Mary wasn’t necessarily about to give birth any moment on her way to Bethlehem. The classic image of Mary riding on a donkey about 11 months pregnant probably wasn’t the case. Luke 2:4-6 – “4 So Joseph also went up from theContinue Reading

Past, Present and Future Components of the Lord’s Supper & Our Spiritual Formation

Past “This day shall be a day of remembrance for you. You shall celebrate it as a festival to the Lord; throughout your generations you shall observe it as a perpetual ordinance.” – Exodus 12:14 “and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body that is for you. DoContinue Reading

Fascinating Story Order in the Gospels

Sometimes the Gospels have stories that are ordered in such a way that it just blows my mind. Because these connections span multiple stories it can be easy to miss because we often study one unit of the text at a time rather than looking at the whole or at least big chunks to seeContinue Reading

Sermon on the Mount: A Good Reason to Leave the Assembly Early

Have you ever left worship angry? Let me ask that another way, have you ever left the assembly because you were angry and realized that you had to make it right before you sang one more song or said “Fine, how are you to one more person?”   Jesus straight up tells us that ifContinue Reading

Sermon on the Mount: Fulfilling the Law and the Prophets

In Jesus’ day the phrase Law and Prophets was shorthand for their Bible which we call the Old Testament. The Law included Genesis-Deuteronomy. The prophets included the historical books (Joshua-Esther) and the prophets as we know them (Isaiah-Malachi). What is not included specifically in that phrase are the wisdom and poetry books. There are aContinue Reading

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