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Pastor's Sunday School Blog

Sunday School Lesson

“Jesus Calls the First Disciples”

April 23, 2017

Matthew 4:17-22; 9:9-13

Quick Facts:

Matthew is one of the four Gospels.

Matthew connects the Old Testament (Malachi) with the New Testament.

The time between Malachi and Matthew was about 400 years, called the silent years.

Written by Matthew (also known as Levi- Matthew 9:9-13), a tax gatherer.

The date for writing is commonly accepted as 37 AD

Matthew records the teachings and events of Jesus Christ from birth to His ascension

Each of the Four Gospels focus on certain aspects of Christ:

Luke - “the Son of man”

Mark – "the suffering servant"

John – the “Son of God”

Matthew – "Jesus, the King"

Pastor’s Notes:

Disciple – a follower of Christ; an adherent or follower of a master, an intimate companion in some common endeavor, often learning and promoting a particular ideology.

Discipleship is the spiritual journey of the believer maturing from babes in Christ to devoted followers of Christ, living in Christ-likeness… This journey begins with salvation, continues through the process of sanctification, until glorification.

Disciple-making is the process by which a believer assist another believer toward spiritual maturity; it involves the willingness to invest one’s life into another.

Every believer is called to make disciples (Matthew 28:18-20). Not just introducing someone to Jesus, but tutoring them in the Word of God, with the goal that they will reach a level of spiritual maturity that they begin to make disciples.

Discipleship is therefore a process and a product.

Discipleship is not so much concerned with who one was, but who one is (2 Corinthians 5:17) and who one can be in Christ.

Jesus calls for repentance (Matthew 4:17).

After the Lord’s baptism and wilderness trials, Jesus began His public ministry which featured the proclamation of the kingdom of God.

Believers, while not all are called to “preach,” are all called to proclaim the Gospel.

The challenge of the Lord’s message was to “repent.” The word repent comes from the Greek word, metanoia, which means to change one’s attitude and activities, one’s principal and practice. The form of the word is present imperative … it is a command which demanded an immediate response.

Repentance – “a change in a person’s attitude toward God that impacted one’s actions and life choices…”

Repentance carries the ideal of turning from something to something (someone to someone).

Too often repentance is limited to the negative aspect of guilt, confession and turning from “some sin” failing to emphasize the positive aspect of devotion to God. REPENTANCE THAT DOESN’T INVOLVE A COMMITMENT AND CHANGE IS NOT REPENTANCE.

THINK ABOUT THIS – “I like to get my toes stomped on by the preacher,” so as to make me feel remorse; however, if remorse is the end and doesn’t lead to change then there has been no repentance. It’s good to feel remorse for sin but remorse must be followed by commitment and change or else it is just guilt.

Jesus called the people to repent because the “kingdom of heaven had come.” The “Kingdom of heaven (kingdom of God) refers to the Divine rule and reign declared and demonstrated by Jesus.

Repent of what? Turn from selfishness and sin, self-righteousness and a failed system of religion to complete dependence on and devotion to Jesus Christ.

Jesus calls unlikely people to abandon all and follow Him (Matthew 4:18-22).

Peter, Andrew, James and John were not the ideal candidates for the Messiah’s disciples. Jesus was not interested in the personal occupations or their position in society, what they were; He was interested in what they would become by the “grace of God.”

Throughout His ministry, Jesus did the unexpected to accomplish the supernatural … choosing fishermen for His disciples Jesus limited human expectation and promoted Divine intervention.

By choosing fishermen, Jesus demonstrated to the world that a relationship with God was available to “whosoever will.”

NOTE: (1) The Command “follow me.” (2) The Commission “I will make you fishers of men.” (3) The Commitment “followed Him.”

“Follow Me” – indicates a personal, intimate relationship with Jesus. Jesus would teach them the Word and the application of the Word to their lives. He would be both an educator and an example.

“I will make you fishers of men” – Key to this declaration is the Lord’s involvement in the process … “I will make you” … God calls and God enables … See Philippians 4:13

“followed Him” – Speaks to their determination and destination

They left their families, their livelihood, the known for the unknown.

Jesus doesn’t always provide a roadmap, just the instructions, “follow Me.” (Consider

Compare the call of the disciples to the call of Abraham.

Note the timeframe – “Immediately” … God’s call demands an immediate response.

The call of Christ involves, first and foremost, a commitment to Christ, followed by a commitment to His commission

Jesus calls unpopular and unexpected people to follow Him (Matthew 4:9-13).

As you look at the call of Matthew remember “grace” reaches down and lifts up; sinners to saints.

Matthew was a tax-collector. A tax collector was hated and despised by both the Jews and the Romans. They were viewed as traitors and were often unscrupulous, exacting a higher tax rate than the law prescribed to fill their own coffers.

This not only shows Jesus willingness to use anyone, but the strategy of sinners reaching sinners … “many tax collectors and sinners came to ear with Jesus and his disciples.” The tax collectors and sinner who came must have concluded that what Jesus did for Matthew He could and would do for them.

This ought to be our testimony to a lost and hurting world.

As disciple-maker we are to teach believers to follow Jesus, not us.

The religious leaders, using their lives as the perceived standard, were critical of anyone who didn’t do as they did …


We condemn those who practice racial profiling, but what about those who practice spiritual profiling?

Remember, just because someone is different from you doesn’t make them worse than you or you better than them.

Jesus was not saying that He didn’t come to save the religious. Jesus was teaching that it is necessary to recognize one’s sinfulness for there to be spiritual healing.

Theological Theme: Discipleship is faithfully following Jesus as Savior and Lord.

Christological/Christ Connection: Jesus calls the believer to follow Him in obedience.

Missional Application: Disciples are to make disciples (See Matthew 28:18-20).

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