Archive for the ‘The Life of Jesus’ Category

Jesus Calls Peter, Andrew, James and John to follow him

January 22, 2022

In today’s world, what is it like to be a student or an apprentice? 

First of all, in many parts of the world, as soon as one can speak children are sent to kindergarten and the learning starts.  By the end of the course students are spat out to become the future workforce.  It is a conveyor belt that keeps the taxes coming in.  Along the way a sorting happens and the less able end up being the janitors or no job and those who pass their exams the future leaders. It is very formal and a lot of the time the wrong type of people get the best jobs.  It is a very impersonal system and a student to be a student has to be registered and have a number in the register.

The disciples who Jesus called became the Apostles and through them the work of the Gospel has gone out to all the world.  There was nothing special about these Apostles.  They were hard working fishermen.  The Gospels of Matthew and Mark use the word ‘immediately’ quite a lot.   In Matthew Jesus says to Peter and Andrew, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.”. Matthew 4. 19 In Marks Gospel Jesus says, “Follow Me, and I will make you become fishers of men.” Mark 4. 17

Jesus also called James and John but in these two Gospels we see our Lords agenda for these students.  Jesus used language that they understood.  However, did they really grasp what ‘fishers of men’ was actually about?  They were our Lords students, and they probably didn’t understand it completely, but they trusted our Lord.   They didn’t have any paperwork from the local college and no formal training, but Jesus was taking them under his wing. 

These are the very basics, and we can see what the agenda was for their future.  They were to reach out to people with the message of the Gospel.  However, in Luke’s Gospel we are given more detail about the Apostles callings.  We will see that when they had been in Jesus’ presence, they could feel their sinfulness more acutely in the presence of our Lord’s pure holiness. 

Anyhow let us now read Luke’s version:

“Now it happened that while the crowd was pressing around Him and listening to the word of God, He was standing by the lake of Gennesaret; 2 and He saw two boats lying at the edge of the lake; but the fishermen had gotten out of them and were washing their nets. 3 And He got into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, and asked him to put out a little way from the land. And He sat down and began teaching the people from the boat. 4 When He had finished speaking, He said to Simon, “Put out into the deep water and let down your nets for a catch.” 5 Simon answered and said, “Master, we worked hard all night and caught nothing, but I will do as You say and let down the nets.” 6 When they had done this, they enclosed a great quantity of fish, and their nets began to break; 7 so they signalled to their partners in the other boat for them to come and help them. And they came and filled both of the boats, so that they began to sink. 8 But when Simon Peter saw that, he fell down at Jesus’ feet, saying, “Go away from me Lord, for I am a sinful man!” 9 For amazement had seized him and all his companions because of the catch of fish which they had taken; 10 and so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, “Do not fear, from now on you will be catching men.” 11 When they had brought their boats to land, they left everything and followed Him.” Luke 5:1-11

In Matthew and Mark, the focus is on our Lord and the disciples.  We are given the very important bare facts.  Our Lord wasn’t just walking alone along the edge of the Lake.  No, Jesus was a popular preacher, and he had a connection with the crowds.  The crowds and the disciples could here God’s words being spoken.  If for example, we were in Jesus’ shoes; in this situation we certainly would have felt intimidated and claustrophobic!  Our Lord found a quick fix in this situation and with the help of Peter (Simon) he jumped into his boat.  He could teach them God’s word and also have room to breathe from a boat.

We don’t know why but perhaps our Lord has a relationship with these disciples.  Our Lord was possibly a carpenter (a supposed son of a carpenter, Joseph (a god-fearing man)).  Perhaps in the family business he was asked to fix the boats. These are hypothetical questions, but in this story, there was a bond of trust between our Lord and the disciples.  Peter said in verse 5 ‘Master we have worked hard all night…’  Peter and the other fishermen were tired.  When your tired you are less likely to listen to someone giving you advice or commanding you.   This is what the Lord did.  He gave a command to the disciples to go fishing again and see what happens! These future disciples were listening to the holy words falling from the mouth of the Logos (‘The word’ John 11). 

On the other hand, it might have happened that as they listened to the word of Christ they were moved in spirit and felt the shock and awe of heaven and realized that they were in the presence of the greatest teacher who ever walked this earth.  Either way or both ways they threw the net into the water and the catch was a big one!  Peter and the other disciples felt and tasted their sinfulness in a serious acute manner.  Nothing was going to stop God’s plan of salvation for the world.  Even in the garden of Eden when Adam and Eve got kicked out because of their sin. Although they were judged for their sins God still clothed them.; “NASB 1977

And the LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them.”  Genesis 321   Perhaps this was the first sacrifice, and the sacrifice was made by God to clothe Adam and Eve.  Perhaps this was a picture of what was going to happen three years later at the cross. 


What can we learn about our own spiritual state before the Lord Jesus?

As a follower of Jesus, you are not on any conveyor belt to please the whims and fancy of any government.  God loves you individually.  The Trinitarian God created you and he cares about the state of your soul.  In the texts Peter sometimes does what the others are only thinking.  What did Peter say to our Lord?

“But when Simon Peter saw that, he fell down at Jesus’ feet, saying, “Go away from me Lord, for I am a sinful man!” 9 For amazement had seized him and all his companions because of the catch of fish which they had taken” Luke 59 Peter and the other disciples realized that they were in God’s presence.  The moment of the spiritual walks begins when we realize that we are ‘poor in spirit’.  We realize that before God’s presence we are completely helpless only then can God start to mould us into the conformity of the Son.  After this confession, it is only then that Jesus says to the disciples:

 “Do not fear, from now on you will be catching men.”  Luke 510 

It is so easy sometimes to be over awed by a teacher and become fearful.  At the time of Christ teachers probably beat their students if they didn’t learn something.  A good teacher takes care of his/her students, and he/she is able to build a rapport with the students that is positive, friendly and respectful.  These disciples were in the presence of the greatest teacher to have ever walked the earth.  He understood everything about how things worked, biology, physics and chemistry as the Logos he was responsible for the very creation of the world.  What an amazing teacher they had and what amazing feats they ended up doing by the Holy Spirit’s guidance.

The image used was taken from:

The Lord’s Supper

April 10, 2020

The Lord’s Supper

This period of Passover and Easter meet.  According to a Catholic encyclopaedia at the time of the early church the Passover was taken into the church calendar.  Both the meanings of Passover from the Jewish point of view and the Christian point of view have the idea of being freed from bondage and slavery. Jews escaped slavery from the Egyptians and Christians reflect on this covenant and the New covenant was inaugurated through Jesus Christ the Messiah. Jesus provides a way to be free from sin in his blood.  The breaking of bread takes on different forms in various church traditions, but this is the basic idea.


As the book of Hebrews says that Jesus was a priest according to the order of Melchizedek.

He was High Priest and King in Jerusalem at the time of Abraham.  For Christians Jesus was also the Passover lamb.   In the Old Testament the blood was put over the doorways of every house and when the Angel of Death came he “passed over” the houses of the firstborn. No one who listened to Moses command would die in the Jewish quarter. Jesus as the Passover Lamb protects us from this second spiritual death and gives the hope of resurrection.


Mark chapter 14 verses 22-31

 While they were eating, He took some bread, and after a blessing He broke it, and gave it to them, and said, “Take it; this is My body.” 23 And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He gave it to them, and they all drank from it. 24 And He said to them, “This is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many. 25 Truly I say to you, I will never again drink of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.”
26  After singing a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.
27  And Jesus *said to them, “You will all fall away, because it is written, ‘I WILL STRIKE DOWN THE SHEPHERD, AND THE SHEEP SHALL BE SCATTERED.’ 28 But after I have been raised, I will go ahead of you to Galilee.”



29 But Peter said to Him, “Even though all may fall away, yet I will not.” 30 And Jesus *said to him, “Truly I say to you, that  this very night, before a rooster crows twice, you yourself will deny Me three times.” 31 But Peter kept saying insistently, “Even if I have to die with You, I will not deny You!” And they all were saying the same thing also. Mark 14:22-31

Lent: Mark chapter 14 verse 1

February 16, 2015

Death Plot and Anointing

14 Now the Passover and Unleavened Bread were two days away; and the chief priests and the scribes were seeking how to seize Him by stealth and kill Him;

We now come into the period of Lent. Lent for Christians is a time of preparation for the greatest of the festivals in the Christian calendar. The death and resurrection has had profound influence on the world that we live in. Even time has BC and AD on it. In other words Before Christ and after the Death of our Lord.

I want to start by looking at Mark chapter 14 verse 1

Now the Passover and Unleavened Bread were two days away; and the chief priests and the scribes were seeking how to seize Him by stealth and kill Him;

Background information with a large paint brush

The Passover in Judaism even to this day is a big festival. It is when the angel of death passed over all the houses that had blood splattered over the door posts. This was a sign that the First born would be spared. Any person who refused this would have lost their first born child. The Angel of death continued and in the story Egypt did not escape this judgement from God.

Remember that when this story was told the Israelites were slaves of the Egyptians.

Relating to Jesus
It was around this festival that the political and religious leaders wanted to kill Jesus. Jesus did no wrong but only healed and preached and pointed people in the direction of having a true relationship with God.

Other peace makers
Interesting how jealousy tends to be taken out on the peacemakers in this world. Gandhi was a peace maker and was murdered for it. Martin Luther King another peace maker was killed in cold blood. Malcolm X after he gave up the idea of violence was murdered. Nelson Mandela spent many years of his life under house arrest and out of this list he was the only one who died in old age.

Yes these other examples are important but for Christians the death of Jesus was no accident. As the angel of death passed over Israel and the first born were saved, so too by Jesus’ blood, God’s wrath would pass over any wrong doer.