Disciple-Maker Matthew 4:12-25

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-Jesus is calling us to follow Him and join His mission

Barry Michael Bremen was born June 30, 1947, in Detroit, the youngest of three children of Elsie and George Bremen, a salesman for steel companies. He played sports in high school and maintained a lifelong “grand fantasy to be in the limelight,” his wife, Margo, told People magazine in 1980.
By most accounts, Mr. Bremen’s exploits began in 1979, when he managed to sneak onto the floor during warm-ups before the N.B.A. All-Star Game in Detroit, wearing a pilfered team uniform.
Mr. Bremen, an athletic 6-foot-4, took several shots before being recognized as an intruder and ejected.
The same year, he slipped onto the sidelines during a football game between the Dallas Cowboys and the Washington Redskins dressed in a custom-made Cowboys cheerleader outfit and a blond wig. (He had dieted and shaved his legs for this one.) The Cowboys kicked him out and sued him but later let the matter go.
The only stunt Mr. Bremen expressed some regrets about was his 1985 visit to the Emmy Awards, when he almost walked off with the best supporting actress statue awarded to Betty Thomas, who played Officer Lucille Bates on the police drama “Hill Street Blues.”
Ms. Thomas, who had been nominated several times but had never won, was striding down the aisle awash in the applause of her peers when Mr. Bremen, with his $300 ticket and rented tuxedo, reached the lectern and whispered to the presenter, the actor Peter Graves, that he would be accepting the statue on her behalf.
There are so many of us waiting on an invitation to something great, when the greatest invitation of all is right in front of us: “Follow me!”

I. A Message: The Gospel vv. 12-17

This week, we pick up where we left off. John the Baptist has been arrested and Jesus moves north from Judea into Galilee to begin His public ministry
Matthew makes it clear that this location is a fulfillment of prophecy from Isaiah
This matters, because it demonstrates God’s heart to send His Messiah to a people in great need
Galilee is a place of deconversion
It has been filled with Gentiles and pagan influence, fallen from what it once was!
It has some knowledge of God, but no experience of His power and no demonstration of His righteousness amongst its people
God, in His wisdom, intends to invade that darkness with His Son
Jesus is the messenger: He comes calling people to repentance. They must turn from sin and self because the Kingdom is at hand
Jesus is also the message: His presence means that the Kingdom is at hand
He is here! That is both a warning and a hope for us
How would you respond if you knew that God was here?
A church had a special concert and the worship center was packed. The congregation had one
of their greatest times of worship ever! Later that evening, a young mother from the church was putting her little boy to bed. He had enjoyed the concert so much and couldn’t stop talking about it.
The mother said the usual bedtime prayer with her boy, kissed him goodnight and was about to leave her son’s room, when he surprised her with a deep thought: "Mommy, I really had a good time at church tonight! I sure wish Jesus could have been there!"

II. A Method: Discipleship vv. 18-22

Next, we see Jesus walking by the Sea of Galilee, there He begins to call disciples to follow Him
This method, may seem strange, because it is shockingly personal
He begins with an invitation
He meets Andrew, Peter, James, and John and invites them to follow Him
This is not a first encounter, so we should probably give some context to the meeting, but having observed His way of life and having heard His teaching, they commit to follow Him
The invitation includes a challenge: transformation
A change of destination: to go where He goes, eventually to His heavenly kingdom
A change of character: to think, act, and live as He lives
A change of purpose: to participate in His mission to establish a Kingdom
This invitation demands a response; there is no such thing as discipleship without a decision!
He is calling. How will you respond to the call?
“A hypocritical businessman, whose fortune had been the misfortune of many others, told Mark Twain piously, “Before I die I intend to make a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. I want to climb to the top of Mount Sinai and read the Ten Commandments aloud.” “I have a better idea,” suggested Twain. “Why don’t you stay right at home in Boston and keep them?”

III. A Mission: The Lost vv. 23-25

Jesus has a 3-pronged mission
Teaching- He corrects misperceptions and makes sense of what the people already believe about God, using the Scriptures
Preaching- He proclaims the good news of God’s kingdom and connects them to God’s power
Healing- He brings people into contact with God’s transforming power, fulfilling God’s purpose.
What kind of people does He heal?
The sick- physical
The afflicted- emotional
The oppressed- spiritual
This is exactly why He came; He is offering us healing as we believe in Him and commit ourselves to Him!
Matthew 11:28–30
[28] Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. [29] Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. [30] For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (ESV)
-Have you heard the Good News?
-Are you following Jesus?
-Are you experiencing healing?
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