Lesson 20 – Come With Me

Lesson 20 – Come With Me2015-10-28T00:51:52+00:00

Sabbath, May 16, 2009

“He who loves Christ the most will do the greatest amount of good. There is no limit to the usefulness of one who, by putting self aside, makes room for the working of the Holy Spirit upon his heart, and lives a life wholly conse­crated to God. If men will endure the necessary discipline, without complain­ing or fainting by the way, God will teach them hour by hour, and day by day. He longs to reveal His grace. If His people will remove the obstructions, He will pour forth the waters of salvation in abundant streams through the human channels. If men in humble life were encouraged to do all the good they could do, if restraining hands were not laid upon them to repress their zeal, there would be a hundred workers for Christ where now there is one.” –The Desire of Ages, pp. 250, 251.

EXPERIENCE PRECEDES CALLING
1. What is known about the men whom Jesus called? Were they active, or were they idle?
Matthew 4:18
And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers.
Luke 5:1, 2
And it came to pass, that, as the people pressed upon him to hear the word of God, he stood by the lake of Gennesaret, And saw two ships standing by the lake: but the fishermen were gone out of them, and were washing their nets.

“Day was breaking over the Sea of Galilee. The disciples, weary with a night of fruitless toil, were still in their fishing boats on the lake. Jesus had come to spend a quiet hour by the waterside. In the early morning He hoped for a little season of rest from the multitude that followed Him day after day. But soon the people began to gather about Him.” –The Desire of Ages, p. 244.

2. After He was finished using Simon’s ship for preaching, what did the Lord request him to do? Luke 5:3, 4. Whom else does the Lord want to let down their nets?
Luke 5:3, 4
And he entered into one of the ships, which was Simon’s, and prayed him that he would thrust out a little from the land. And he sat down, and taught the people out of the ship. Now when he had left speaking, he said unto Simon, Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught.

“There are those who think it is their duty to preach the truth, but they dare not venture from the shore, and they catch no fish. They will choose to go among the churches, over and over the same ground. They report a good time, a pleasant visit, but we look in vain for the souls that are converted to the truth through their instrumentality. These ministers hug the shore too closely. Let them launch out into the deep, and cast their net where the fish are. There is no lack of work to be done. There could be hundreds employed in the vineyard of the Lord where there is now one. (–The True Missionary, February, 1874).” –Evangelism, pp. 59, 60.

THE RESULT OF TRUST AND OBEDIENCE
3. Although their efforts the previous night had been unsuccess­ful, what was Simon willing to do? What might we do after a making a similar experience?
Luke 5:5
And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net.

“The discourse ended, Jesus turned to Peter, and bade him launch out into the sea, and let down his net for a draught. But Peter was disheartened. All night he had taken nothing…. Even his own occupation had failed him; and as he watched by the empty nets, the future had seemed dark with dis­couragement. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at Thy word I will let down the net.’” –The Desire of Ages, p. 245.

4. What was amazing result of his obedience?
Luke 5:6-8
And when they had this done, they inclosed a great multitude of fishes: and their net brake. And they beckoned unto their partners, which were in the other ship, that they should come and help them. And they came, and filled both the ships, so that they began to sink. When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord.

“Night was the only favorable time for fishing with nets in the clear waters of the lake. After toiling all night without success, it seemed hopeless to cast the net by day; but Jesus had given the command, and love for their Master moved the disciples to obey. Simon and his brother together let down the net. As they attempted to draw it in, so great was the quantity of fish enclosed that it began to break. They were obliged to summon James and John to their aid. When the catch was secured, both the boats were so heavily laden that they were in danger of sinking….

“But Peter was unmindful now of boats or lading. This miracle, above any other he had ever witnessed, was to him a manifestation of divine power. In Jesus he saw One who held all nature under His control. The presence of divinity revealed his own unholiness. Love for his Master, shame for his own unbelief, gratitude for the condescension of Christ, above all, the sense of his uncleanness in the presence of infinite purity, overwhelmed him. While his companions were securing the contents of the net, Peter fell at the Saviour’s feet, exclaiming, ‘Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord.’” –The Desire of Ages, p. 246.

CALLED TO BE FISHERS OF MEN
5. What holy calling followed that experience? What did Jesus promise?
Matthew 4:18
And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers.
Mark 1:16, 17
Now as he walked by the sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew his brother casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers.  And Jesus said unto them, Come ye after me, and I will make you to become fishers of men.

“The Saviour answered, ‘Fear not; from henceforth thou shalt catch men.’ It was after Isaiah had beheld the holiness of God and his own unworthiness that he was entrusted with the divine message. It was after Peter had been led to self-renunciation and dependence upon divine power that he received the call to his work for Christ….

“Until this time none of the disciples had fully united as co-laborers with Jesus. They had witnessed many of His miracles, and had listened to His teaching; but they had not entirely forsaken their former employment. The imprisonment of John the Baptist had been to them all a bitter disappoint­ment. If such were to be the outcome of John’s mission, they could have little hope for their Master, with all the religious leaders combined against Him. Under the circumstances it was a relief to them to return for a short time to their fishing. But now Jesus called them to forsake their former life, and unite their interests with His. Peter had accepted the call. Upon reaching the shore, Jesus bade the three other disciples, ‘Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.’” –The Desire of Ages, pp. 246, 249.

6. Did they hesitate, or did they follow Jesus immediately?
Matthew 4:20
And they straightway left their nets, and followed him.

“So it was with the disciples previously called. When Jesus bade Peter and his companions follow Him, they immediately left their boats and nets. Some of these disciples had friends dependent on them for support; but when they received the Saviour’s invitation, they did not hesitate, inquiring, How shall I live, and sustain my family? They were obedient to the call; and when afterward Jesus asked them, ‘When I sent you without purse, and scrip, and shoes, lacked ye anything?’ they could answer, ‘Nothing.’

“Today the Saviour calls us, as He called Matthew and John and Peter, to His work. If our hearts are touched by His love, the question of compensation will not be uppermost in our minds. We shall rejoice to be co-workers with Christ, and we shall not fear to trust His care. If we make God our strength, we shall have clear perceptions of duty, and unselfish aspirations; our life will be actuated by a noble purpose, which will raise us above sordid motives.” –Gospel Workers, pp. 113, 114.

7. Who else willingly abandoned everything and followed Jesus? Would we do the same?
Matthew 4:21, 22
And going on from thence, he saw other two brethren, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in a ship with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and he called them. And they immediately left the ship and their father, and followed him.
Luke 14:27, 33
And Jesus saith unto them, All ye shall be offended because of me this night: for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered… And he taketh with him Peter and James and John, and began to be sore amazed, and to be very heavy.

CALLED TO WIN SOULS
“Whatever one’s calling in life, his first interest should be to win souls for Christ. He may not be able to speak to congregations, but he can work for individuals. To them he can communicate the instruction received from his Lord. Ministry does not consist alone in preaching. Those minister who relieve the sick and suffering, helping the needy, speaking words of comfort to the desponding and those of little faith.” –The Desire of Ages, p. 822.

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