Calling of the Disciples

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Calling of the Disciples

Location

 

It is very likely that the biblical account of the calling of at least 6 of the 12 disciples occurred on the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee because it was the area where most of the fishing was done and the fishing towns were located.

 

Historical Background

 

1. While the Bible clearly mentions that 6 of the 12 disciples were from the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee, it is possible more were from this area as well.

 

2. Acts 1:11: At the ascension of Christ into heaven, the angels said to the disciples who were standing there, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven?" Now while the text doesn’t specify the exact location, it does tell us that all the disciples were from the Galilee area.

 

Places of Interest

 

1. Northern Shore of the Sea of Galilee

2. Most likely place several of the disciples were called

 

3. Gennesaret

 

4. Magdala

 

5. Tabgha

 

6. Capernaum

 

7. Bethsaida

 

8. Sea of Galilee

 

Calling of the Disciples in the Bible

 

1. It appears by looking at the biblical narrative that Jesus had several contacts with some of the disciples before His final call on them to leave everything and follow Him.
John 1:35–44: The next day again John was standing with two of his disciples, 36 and he looked at Jesus as he walked by and said, "Behold, the Lamb of God!" 37 The two disciples heard him say this, and they followed Jesus. 38 Jesus turned and saw them following and said to them, "What are you seeking?" And they said to him, "Rabbi" (which means Teacher), "where are you staying?" 39 He said to them, "Come and you will see." So they came and saw where he was staying, and they stayed with him that day, for it was about the tenth hour. 40 One of the two who heard John speak and followed Jesus was Andrew, Simon Peter's brother. 41 He first found his own brother Simon and said to him, "We have found the Messiah" (which means Christ). 42 He brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, "So you are Simon the son of John? You shall be called Cephas" (which means Peter). 43 The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, "Follow me." 44 Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter.

 

2. In the following passage, we see what appears to be a final contact with some of the disciples before Jesus’ last call on them to follow Him in full-time ministry.for good.
Luke 5:1–11: On one occasion, while the crowd was pressing in on him to hear the word of God, he was standing by the lake of Gennesaret, 2 and he saw two boats by the lake, but the fishermen had gone out of them and were washing their nets. 3 Getting into one of the boats, which was Simon's, he asked him to put out a little from the land. And he sat down and taught the people from the boat. 4 And when he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, "Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch." 5 And Simon answered, "Master, we toiled all night and took nothing! But at your word I will let down the nets." 6 And when they had done this, they enclosed a large number of fish, and their nets were breaking. 7 They signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink. 8 But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus' knees, saying, "Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord." 9 For he and all who were with him were astonished at the catch of fish that they had taken, 10 and so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, "Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men." 11 And when they had brought their boats to land, they left everything and followed him.

 

3. The calling of Matthew the tax collector.
Matthew 9:9: As Jesus passed on from there, he saw a man called Matthew sitting at the tax booth, and he said to him, "Follow me." And he rose and followed him.”  From Matthew 9:1 we see that the calling of Matthew was close to Capernaum which is on the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee.

 

Faith Lesson from the Calling of the Disciples

 

1. When God calls us to salvation, or to a certain calling or task, sometimes this might involve a process and have several confirmations. Are you genuinely saved, or is there some special calling you are sensing from the Lord?

 

2. God wants our full devotion and obedience. He doesn’t want us to add Him onto our lives and make Him an accessory that we go to just when we need help. God refuses to be an ATM. Do I follow Jesus for His blessings only, or am I willing to deny myself and suffer for Him as well?

 

3. God calls us to be His disciples and devote our entire life to Him.

Luke 14:25–33: Now great crowds accompanied him, and he turned and said to them, 26 "If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. 27 Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple. 33 So, therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple.

 

4. Am I willing to love Christ and follow Him regardless of the cost?

 

5. In comparison to my love for Christ, all other relationships should fade. The contrast here is that compared to my love for Christ, all other relationships would be like hate in comparison. Do all my relationships appear as hate in comparison to my love for Christ?

 

6. Christ said that in the last days there would be a great falling away from the faith and there would be many false teachers. In many churches today a soft version of the gospel is proclaimed and they’re neglecting to emphasize repentance, the judgments of God, the true cost of discipleship, service, and sacrifice. Instead, there is an overemphasis on the blessings of God and how He exists to serve our needs and make us happy rather than us serving Him and finding true joy in our devotion to Him. This soft gospel will likely lead to the great apostasy mentioned in Scripture.

 

7. Am I growing deeper in my knowledge of God’s Word so I don’t fall into the many traps that will lead to the great apostasy of the last days? 

 

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