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How Jesus called out disciples

Andrew Shearman is staying at our house this week.  We have conversations till 1:30 at night and wake groggy, stumbling to the coffee maker.  This morning we began talking about how we were called to follow Jesus.  There’s a mystical aspect of it and and still a rational calculatio…
By Seth Barnes
By Seth Barnes
Andrew Shearman is staying at our house this week.  We have conversations till 1:30 at night and wake groggy, stumbling to the coffee maker.  This morning we began talking about how we were called to follow Jesus.  There’s a mystical aspect of it and and still a rational calculation. And faith is born somewhere in the middle.
Andrew is the weaver of dreams and magical faith stories who says that the disciples’ hearts leapt within them when they saw Jesus and somehow they had all that they needed to drop their nets and follow him.  There’s a progressive revelation that begins in a moment.  And still there’s the need for the rational.  Often in these conversations I’m the champion of the rationalists.  We need facts.  We come to faith after weighing cost and benefit. 
I don’t know about you, but  God took his time with me.  He waited around for me to pursue him.  He was patient when I was a knucklehead and disappeared from the grid for months or years at a time.  And I’ve come to the conclusion, that’s how he operates.
God is a relational God – he’s all about a conversation. It’s a dance. He advances, I move with him.  I move his direction and he moves with me.  In America we think we draw near to him primarily through study and intellect, when what he wants is relationship and time.  Jesus started slow and relationally with his disciples and that’s what he wants with us as well.  He gives us enough to understand context and expectation.

It seems a peculiarly American thing to present the gospel quickly and expect a conversion and “disciple” status.  We need to rediscover Jesus’ Middle Eastern approach to relationships.  He took time with his disciples.

How does this work for us as disciplers? Jesus doesn’t expect us to trust without knowing anything.  He understands our humanity.  He is only abrupt and demanding with those who should know better.  With the rest of us, he develops relationship, just as he expects us to do.  Let’s do a quick Bible study on the matter. Look at the way Jesus called out Peter in Luke 4 & 5:
1.      He ministers and his reputation precedes him (4:37)
2.      He preaches in the synagogue, probably meeting Peter there. (4:38)
3.      Peter invites him to come eat at his house. (4:38)
4.      Jesus meets his felt need and demonstrates his divinity by healing his mother-in-law. (4:39)
5.      He does a lot of miracles which Peter presumably gets to see. (4:40-41)
6.      Days pass and he moves around. (4:43-44)
7.      He asks Peter for a favor “can I use your boat to preach” (5:3)
8.      He returns the favor by helping his business “put out into deep water and let the nets down for a catch.” (5:4)
9.      Peter is humbled & they have a conversation. (5:8)
10.  Then he calls not only Peter to follow him, but a support group of his friends. (5:11)
All of this builds relationship based on trust and time.  And even then he waits till Luke 6:12-13 to pray all night and confirm that the 12 were the ones who God had chosen.  Conclusion: As we follow Jesus, we need to be patient with people – building a foundation of trust upon which relationship can grow.

Comments (7)

  • Blessed Morning to All.
    I agree. This past weekend at Aim Showed me exactly that , Jesus has a wonderfull way in bulding relationships. For the first time in my life I felt Jesus touch me and shake up my interior. As I prayed for A relationship with Him while at Aim His Spirit took my stomch and Shook it up and down and send His Spirit right thru my body. Today Iam not the same I feel as if iam walking around with my two best friends that reside within me. Amen ,Ps Andrew cant wait to receive another Spirit filled punch in the chest. Seth and team thank you for a weekend filled with pure Love And Joy

  • It was through Andrew’s website that I found your blog. Last year another teacher at my school gave me a CD to listen to. It was sermon by Andrew Shearman called “Hell, NO!” preached at Life Center in Harrisburg. I listened to that CD till I wore it out. Then I found his website, and consequently yours. You both have blessed me tremendously, and I can only imagine the dynamics of the two of you in the same room!

    Rich blessings to you both.

  • Interesting blog today. God speaks to me a lot in picture and image, but I think that’s because I am a music and drama graduate and those things make the best sense to me and help me remember and understand things. But I certainly have (and still do) need a lot of time and rational thought. I don’t like to do anything by halves but neither do I want to jump in with both feet until I understand. I can be a risk taker but not a thought-free one.

    Delighted to read the logic of that progression – that Jesus takes time to build relationships. I certainly need it! And I guess a lot of other people do too. One of the strongest characteristics of God to my way of thinking is patience, hand in hand with His commitment to never give up. I love Him for that. I don’t think you can honestly grow trust without it.

    Enjoy your midnight verbal wrestles!! And thank God for coffee, eh? lol Cxx

  • Seth,
    I can’t tell whether it’s your insight or new eyes of the Spirit (a consequence of this weekend, like Francesco talked about) which is making me see Peter’s conversion in a whole new way. Probably both.

    What a great team you and Andrew make! You are so different from each other, as different as Luke from Matthew, but both perspectives belong.

    This weekend, at Breakthru, I felt more like Luke’s Peter than Matthew, Mark, or John’s Peter, almost like I was traveling in Jesus’ outer band of disciples, going from town to town, seeing what he was doing, talking with him sometimes, intrigued, inspired, filled, but not throwing it all in. I want to, and I will, but I do it slowly and cautiously.

    I hope he has patience with me.

  • i’m learning to give, of all people, myself grace…i’m not 28 years late in “figuring it out”…i’m 28 years ahead in getting to where he wants me to be. i’ve enjoyed every day – good and bad – much more ever since i figured that out.

  • Great post! I think God loves it when we do ministry with people the hard way instead of desiring shortcuts. I think that’s where so many Christians’ passionate prayers for revival to wrong – they expect God will go off himself and save people without their involvement. In my experience God very rarely moves in extraordinary ways apart from through the Body he has chosen, but imagine if the whole Church embraced what you have written and invested itself in relationships – unstoppable!

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Seth Barnes

I'm motivated to join God in his global reclamation project. He's on the move, setting his sons and daughters free from their places of captivity. And he's partnering with those of us who have been freed to go and free others.

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