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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » James Meehan » James Meehan - Am I a Disciple of Jesus?

James Meehan - Am I a Disciple of Jesus?

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    James Meehan - Am I a Disciple of Jesus?
TOPICS: Culture Makers, Discipleship

Kaitlyn Caffery: Hello and welcome to this week's episode of Switch Uncut.

James Meehan: Hello and welcome to this week's episode of Switch Uncut.

Kaitlyn Caffery: Oh, we're doing this again? Can we just run it back? Can we just insert the other episode where you do the exact same thing?

James Meehan: Like it was a while ago that I did that. You gotta keep people on their toes.

Kaitlyn Caffery: Okay.

James Meehan: Imitation, highest form of flattery. If you've got younger siblings, you know that you've probably heard that, but you probably don't believe it.

Kaitlyn Caffery: Don't believe it? We're gonna talk about some stuff we actually do believe today.

James Meehan: Ooh, come on.

Kaitlyn Caffery: Which is, you know, Jesus, the Bible, we're gonna talk about what it looks like to follow Jesus faithfully in our world today. And we're gonna dissect some scripture to help us do that even better.

James Meehan: Brilliant.

Kaitlyn Caffery: James, what are we talking about today?

James Meehan: Today, We are capping off the spring semester journey we've been going on.

Kaitlyn Caffery: Let's go.

James Meehan: We've been going on to become fully devoted followers of Christ. Way back in January. If you were with us, you were there when we talked about the difference between fully devoted followers and fat bloated tadpoles. If you weren't with us, then that reference makes no sense to you. We're glad you're here now.

Kaitlyn Caffery: Watch the message, there's some really disgusting pictures.

James Meehan: Right, but for real, the last six months has been all about learning the answers to the big questions about who we are, about who God is, and about the purpose he's called us to make. And we closed out this semester with a message this past Wednesday called disciple making disciples because we believe that real spiritual maturity, real growth in our relationship with Jesus never stops with us.

Kaitlyn Caffery: That's good.

James Meehan: It's all for the sake of others. We define discipleship as the process of becoming like Jesus for the sake of others. Because Jesus himself said that he didn't come to be served, but to serve and give his life as a ransom for many. And if we're following him, then we should probably follow his example. And so that's what we talked about last week, we focused in on the great commission found at the end of Matthew's gospel in chapter 28 verses 18 through 20. And we broke that down to unpack what does it look like for us to be disciple making disciples. Again, if you haven't seen it, go back and check it out 'cause that's a really helpful like starting place for the conversation we're gonna have today.

Kaitlyn Caffery: Yep.

James Meehan: Today though what we're gonna do is we're actually gonna go back towards the very beginning of Matthew's gospel in chapter four when Jesus begins his ministry because in the great commission, what we talked about this past Wednesday, Jesus says that we are to go and make disciples of all nations, to baptize them in the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, and to teach them to obey everything he's commanded us.

Kaitlyn Caffery: Yeah.

James Meehan: Now what's interesting about Matthew's gospel is it ends with this commission to learn how to obey everything Jesus has commanded. So where do we find what Jesus has commanded? Well, in the book that we just read. And so it's almost like this invitation to go back and look again at what Jesus has said, look again at what Jesus has done, and figure out how we can model our lives after his life. And so with that in mind, we're gonna go back to the beginning of Jesus' ministry starting in Matthew chapter four, verse 17. And we'll read through verse 22 and then we'll kinda like break it down piece by piece to do our best to wrap our minds around it so that we can put it into action. Caitlin, you ready?


All right, go for it.

Okay. All right, Verse 17, "From that time on, Jesus began to preach repent for the kingdom of heaven has come near. As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake for they were fishermen".


Makes sense. "'Come follow me,' Jesus said, 'and I will send you out to fish for people.' At once, they left their nets and followed him. Going on from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee, and his brother, John. They were in a boat with their father, Zebedee, preparing their nets. Jesus called them and immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him".

Boom, boom, boom.

That's really good.

Thank you. So we just read the beginning of Jesus's public ministry. He's preaching a gospel of repentance because the kingdom of heaven has come near. That means God's kingdom, God's way of ruling is coming here on Earth as it is in heaven. And we've been invited in and the way that we receive that invitation is through repentance, it's turning away from our sins and turning to God. And then right after Jesus announces that, then we read him calling his first disciples his first followers because disciples are students or followers of a teacher or leader. And if we're followers of Jesus, then that means we are disciples. Now he shows up, finds these two brothers, Simon and Andrew, and they're fishermen. So Jesus tells them, come follow me and I will send you out to fish for people. Come follow me. Come be my disciple. And I will send you out to fish for people. I will send you out to make disciples. From the beginning of Jesus's ministry, this is what he had in mind that people would come and follow him and then they would lead others to him. That he would call his disciples and they would eventually become disciple making disciples. And in verse 20, what we're told is they left their nets at once to follow Jesus because they understood the significance of being called by a rabbi to be his disciples. This would be like if you're a high school athlete and your favorite professional sports team said, "Hey, don't even go to college, just come straight into the NFL, the NBA, the MLB, whatever it is, like like once you graduate, I want you on my team". Like this would've been a dream come true for these early disciples. Because in their day and age, like the highest calling a Jewish boy or girl could aspire to is to become a disciple of a rabbi. Like this is a really big deal. This is like going to the Ivy league, Harvard, Yale, whatever that is, and landing your dream job. And so when Peter and John are invited to follow Jesus, it's like, whoa, like is this for real? Like you want us? You know, we're fishermen, right? There's probably smarter people out there. But this is why the gospel is so good and Jesus is so gracious. Because he calls who he wants to call.

Come on.

And we have the choice to either say yes or no.

Yeah, and the absolutely beautiful thing is Jesus went for them. That was not how it worked in Jewish culture. It was like, just like you're saying, they had to go through this entire education process and then like go to and present themselves to the rabbi that they wanted to be under and prove that they were worth it. But Jesus completely reverses the play and goes out and finds these guys who no other rabbi would've chosen. And it's so it's like, we're always like, "Wow I can't believe they left their nets and followed Jesus," but it's like, why would they not? Like he came and got them. And I just think that's so beautiful because he's still coming and getting people like them, people like me today.

Yeah, right. And I think that's really good news. And so for you, maybe you've been rejected for something that you had your hope set on, maybe there was something that you were pursuing that you were so excited about, but it turns out it's just not gonna work out. And you feel like, "Well, all I am is," blank. Like, because I didn't get into that college I want, I'm gonna be just like the rest of my family who never went to college. Because I got turned down for the team that I wanted to be on, I didn't make it past tryouts, I guess the rest of high school is sort of gonna suck. Like whatever that thing is for you, what you've gotta understand is that the original disciples were people who got rejected and cut from the team. And Jesus went looking for them. And Jesus is looking for us. He always has been and he always will be because he's looking for people who are willing to say yes to his invitation. He's not looking for the best and the brightest, he's honestly looking for the last and the least. Because it is through those people, the most unlikely that everybody else would overlook, that Jesus can show off just how good and powerful he is. And so if you've ever felt overlooked, I promise you, God sees you. And God wants you to be a part of his plans for the world. And what that looks like is coming and following Jesus. So that you can learn how to become the kind of person who leads others closer to him. And if we continue on, Jesus, doesn't just stop with Simon and Andrew, he goes on and he invites James and John. And James and John also, we read immediately leave the boat, they leave their father and they follow Jesus. Because they know how significant of an invitation this really is. But here's the thing that I think is interesting is at this point in the story, like they haven't actually seen how incredible Jesus really is. Like they know that he's a rabbi, but they don't yet know that he's the Messiah, they don't know that he's the chosen savior, they don't know that he is the son of God because it's interesting how right after this is when we read about Jesus going throughout the countryside, healing the stick, giving sight to the blind, casting out demons, teaching with authority. It's not until after Jesus calls them that the crowds start showing up, because there start to be rumors about who is this wandering rabbi that has power over sickness, disease, and sin? Could he be the Messiah? And before that ever happened, before there were other people trying to follow Jesus, Jesus went straight for them.

That's so good.

And so maybe you haven't experienced the incredible stories of life change that maybe you've heard, maybe you haven't even experienced a miracle or seen a transformation in your own life or in the lives of those around you, that doesn't mean Jesus isn't gonna do it. Because oftentimes before we see his faithfulness, he's asking us to put our faith in him.

That's good.

And it's when we start to trust him that we actually see how trustworthy he is. And then we can look back on how he's shown up in our lives, time and time again, and point to, "Hey, this is what Jesus has done in my life". And I want you to experience that too. Because he's calling us to follow him so that we can go out and fish for people. He wants us to be disciples who actually go out and make disciples.

Yeah, I mean, I think that's something that we've talked about before is just that cycle of like the more I know him the more I trust him, and then the more I trust him, the more I'm motivated to want to get to know him, but it's all contingent on first receiving his grace. It's contingent on accepting his invitation. And that was a gracious invitation. Like that was literally a presentation of his grace.

Right, 'cause they didn't earn it, they didn't deserve it.

They didn't deserve it all. They actually did everything to not deserve it. And yet Jesus comes and he literally in his goodness and grace offers them, not just like a new job, but like a new identity.


And I think that's what is standing out to me the most about this passage is they leave their nets, they leave their boat, they leave their dad. It's like all these things that they could have put their identity in. And so it's like, what is that for me? Like what is Jesus inviting me to leave behind? So I can like receive the grace of the new identity that he's asking me to step into.

Right, so good. And so maybe as you're watching this, you realize that you've put your identity in your family, or like you are so and so's son or daughter, you are so, and so's little brother or little sister, and like, that's what you're known as, but Jesus calls you to something more. Or maybe you are the thing that you're good at, the job that you wanna have, meant you have already decided that when you grow up, you're gonna be an entrepreneur, you're gonna invent something, you're gonna start a business, maybe for you, you're like really passionate about music and art and you wanna make it as a musician. And that's a really good thing, but that's not the most important thing. Yes, God can use that in significant ways for you to actually use your gifting to make disciples, but your identity is deeper than the things you're good at, the things that you want to do. Or maybe for you, it's the things that you have. It's your stuff, right? The disciples, they left their boats, maybe for you, you're gonna leave the comfort of these are my possessions, this is what brings me joy, and instead, you're gonna discover that true joy and fulfillment is found in Jesus. And so for you, what is the thing that you need to let go of to become a disciple making disciple? What are the limiting beliefs that you've held onto that are actually holding you back from understanding how much God loves you and stepping into the purpose you've been given to show that same love to others? Now I know for me personally, the thing that often gets in the way is I spend a lot more time around Christians than non-Christians. Right, like I work at a church, my job is at a church, all of my closest friends are at a church, my whole family knows Jesus, on my wife's side and on my side, and so like the thing that I've gotta be really intentional to do is make sure that I'm not just talking to people who already follow Jesus, but I'm actually going out and finding people who don't know Jesus. That's the thing for me. It's like, I want to constantly be in relationship with people who aren't already going to church, who aren't already following Jesus so that I can show them God's love.

Yeah, that's good. I think for me, the thing that I constantly have to choose to let go of is my own sense of significance. Because I'm following, like you mentioned in the beginning, I'm following a guy who said, "Hey I didn't come here to be served, but to serve, and to actually sacrifice myself for the sake of the world". And so, but it's so tempting for me to cling desperately to my own sense of significance that I don't actually end up treating people like Jesus. It's just more about like me and the opportunity that I'm being given versus them and serving them like Jesus would. And so that's something that I have to lay down every single day. Like, you know what? This isn't about me or what people see in me, this is about people seeing Jesus through me.

So good. And so for you, as you are engaging in this process of discipleship, of becoming like Jesus for the sake of others, what is it that the Holy Spirit is inviting you to do more of, to do less of? Maybe it is for you to actually learn how to receive the love of Jesus firsthand, because it's really hard for you to believe that you deserve it. Well, the good news is you don't. But he still offers it. Maybe for you, it's actually learning his commands and making those a part of your life, because it's really hard to lead somebody else somewhere if you're not already going that direction yourself. It's the difference between, "Hey go and do that thing," versus, "Hey, will you do this with me"? One of those is way more inspiring and powerful than the other. Or maybe for you, it's time to actually step up and become a disciple making disciple. Maybe you've been following Jesus and you realize that it's been about you for a really long time, but now the focus needs to shift to others. And so what does that look like? Does it look like serving in your church? Does it look like serving in your community? Does it look like for praying for people at your school? Does it look like making friends with people that you normally probably wouldn't spend time with? Whatever that looks like for you, we just wanna invite you to continue growing and becoming more of who God's created you to be. Because we would say that becoming a fully devoted follower of Christ actually means becoming a disciple making disciple. And it's a journey that we're on together. And if there's anything we can do to help you, to support you, to pray for you, let us know by typing it in the comments down below.

Yeah, absolutely. I think the last thing that I'll say is I think it's really powerful how when Jesus calls the disciples to come and follow him, he doesn't just call one guy by himself.

Yeah, yeah.

He calls these two brothers, and these two brothers, and these two friends, and I just think that's really beautiful and an encouragement of like you're not in this alone.


Just like James said, there are people who are going on this journey with you and we wanna partner with you in figuring out what it looks like to follow Jesus more, more faithfully, and become a disciple making disciple.

Come on. That's all we've got for you. We hope to see you again next week. See y'all.

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