Call of the First Disciples


Call of the First Disciples

Gospel texts     1:14-20 & 2:13-17

In the first passage, Jesus calls four fishermen.  There are two sets of brothers: Simon (who became known as Peter) and Andrew, James and John.  Jesus asked them to come with him to become ‘fishers of men’.  At once they went with Jesus, leaving their work, families and old lives behind.  Their response was immediate.

In the second passage, Jesus called Levi a tax collector.  Tax collectors were outcasts because they worked for the Romans and Jesus caused controversy by eating at Levi’s house.  The Pharisees questioned why Jesus ate with such people and Jesus explained that he came for sinners in the same way that a doctor came for sick people, not the healthy.

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Call of the First Disciples

Key Points

  • Discipleship means to follow, a disciple is a follower.

  • By calling fishermen, Jesus was calling ordinary, hard working, loyal and committed men who were respected by the people. 

  • From now on, their role would be to bring people into God’s kingdom.

  • They dropped everything to go with Jesus, leaving everything behind.

  • Discipleship requires an immediate response.  It involves making tough decisions: leaving work commitments and family ties.  It involves removing anything that might get in the way of our relationship with God.

  • Jesus showed that he had come to change peoples’ lives.  Notice the way he called sinners such as Levi.  He came to transform lives and restore people back to wholeness.

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Call of the First Disciples

What does it show us about the nature of discipleship – typical Question C

·         Jesus chose ordinary people, not necessarily educated or ‘perfect’ people.  Therefore, anyone can be a disciple today.

·         Christians today feel the same call to discipleship, to spread God’s message and build up the Kingdom of God.

·         For some, this does indeed mean leaving behind work and family commitments e.g. people who join the priesthood, people who undertake missionary work.

  • For the majority, however, it means doing what we can in our ordinary lives to be a witness to the Gospel.  Some do it through youth work, teaching, chaplaincy.  Others through attending church, praying regularly, bringing up their children as Christians or by giving to charity
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Call of the First Disciples

Think about….possible opinion questions (b and d)

  • Is it easier to be a disciple in today’s world than at the time of Jesus?

  • Is serving God more important than loving your family?

  • Do Christians today ignore God’s call to discipleship?

  • Is following Jesus too hard today?

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