New Hope Church

Day 5 – Lenten Devotional

(Remember Sunday’s are not part of the 40 days of the Lenten Season, it is a day of rejoicing in Christ)
Ministry of Jesus
The beginning of Jesus ministry was preceded by His baptism and 40 days of fasting and temptation in the desert.
Steeled in His resolve to obediently fulfill His Father’s will Jesus began His ministry.  Over the remainder of the Lenten season we will review the following facets of Jesus ministry, Jesus:  chose His disciples, preached the gospel, exhibited compassion, performed miracles (of healing, nature and exorcisms), taught (theology, law, morals), defended Scripture, confronted erroneous doctrine, prayed, made disciples (taught, encouraged, rebuked, loved), was sacrificed on the cross, resurrected, and ascended to heaven.

Jesus Chose His Apostles
Shortly after Jesus baptism the gospels tell us that Jesus chose His disciples (some later apostles) and commanded (not asked) them to follow Him
Mt. 4:18-22; Mark 1:16-20; Lk 5:2-11 [Andrew, Peter, John, James]
– Mt 9:9, Mk 2:14; Lk 5:27 [Matthew]; 
– Jn 1:35-51 [Andrew, Peter, Phillip, Nathanael].
After roughly 18 months of following Jesus, He chooses His 12 Apostles
– Matthew 10:2-3; Mark 3:16-19; Luke 6:14-16.

The distinction in these verses is that Jesus commanded them to follow Him…and they did!  In these verses we find that when Jesus commanded, the apostles obeyed

  • Mark 1:16-18,  16 As Jesus walked beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen.  17 “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.” 18 At once they left their nets and followed him.
  • Matthew 9:9, As Jesus went on from there, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax collector’s booth. “Follow me,” he told him, and Matthew got up and followed him.

When they heard the commanding call of God they obeyed and followed. It is interesting to note that Jesus statement “Follow me” in the original New Testament Greek is a present active imperative which simply means that Jesus was commanding them to follow Him now and always.

What can we learn from these heavenly commands to mere human beings from the Son of God? It is very simple and easy, yet profound and difficult.  When you hear God calling you to obedience you must listen, obey and move into action…now and always. While tough to do it can and does grow easier the closer you stay with Christ.

REFLECT:  Have you heard the voice of God (He speaks loudly in the words of Scripture)? Remember the times you have heard His voice and moved at once to follow. What happened?  How about the times you heard and did not obey? This disobedience is called sin…not obeying God’s Word.

REPENT:  Change your ways.  Express to God your sorrow for being disobedient to His call.

RESTORE:   Hearing, obeying and moving in the Lord’s call is not an easy task and will often take you out of your comfort zone. Nonetheless, it is what discipleship is all about.  Grow closer to Jesus as you hear Him and act. Ask Him to give you ears to hear.

Hebrews 4:7 says, “Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts.”

Pastor Tom Bellhy