Nepaug Bible Church - - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes -

Matthew: Jesus As Israel's Messiah And His Kingdom
Part IX: Christ As Israel's Messiah By His Authority Over His Disciples
(Matthew 4:18-22)
  1. Introduction
    1. If Jesus is Messiah and God come in the flesh, His power over His disciples must be absolute.
    2. Matthew 4:18-22 in light of other Scriptures and reputable reports of the disciples validate it as follows:
  2. Christ As Israel's Messiah By His Authority Over His Disciples, Matthew 4:18-22.
    1. As Jesus was walking by the sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen, Matthew 4:18.
    2. Christ told them to follow Him, and He would make them fishers of men, so they immediately (eutheos = "at once," Arndt & Gingrich, A Greek-English Lexicon of the N. T. , 1967, p. 320) left their nets and their occupations as fishermen to follow Him in discipleship, Matthew 4:19-20. This event demonstrated the authority of Jesus Christ over the pull of an occupational livelihood for His disciples.
    3. Continuing to walk along the sea shore, Jesus next saw two other brothers, James and John, the sons of Zebedee, who were also fishermen mending their nets in a ship with their father, Matthew 4:21a,b.
    4. Jesus called them to follow Him as well, and they also immediately (Ibid.) left not only the ship, but also their father Zebedee who had not been called by Christ, to follow the Lord, Matthew 4:22! This event demonstrated the authority of Christ not only over the pull of the occupational livelihood of His disciples, but also over the pull of personal family relationships in His disciples.
    5. Jesus' call did not occur in a vacuum: John 1:35-42 shows Christ had previously met at least some of these men where a rapport would have developed between Him and them, but the great authority of Jesus Christ over these men to call them away from occupations and family is very evident in Matthew 4:18-22.
    6. However, just what following Christ involved in the long-term for these men reveals that Christ's authority over His disciples is ABSOLUTE, for He is the Messiah and God Incarnate:
      1. James the son of Zebedee was later martyred as the Apostle James by being put to death with the sword by Herod Agrippa I in Acts 12:2, Ryrie Study Bible, KJV, 1978, ftn. to Matthew 4:21. Thus, following Jesus led James to be willing to pay his life prematurely to be a martyr for the Lord.
      2. Andrew, Peter's brother, never attained the role of being in Christ's "inner three" circle of Peter, James and John, but was assigned to be a helping apostle: (a) Andrew told his brother, Simon Peter, that Jesus was the Messiah, and he introduced Peter to Jesus, John 1:41-42. (b) Andrew told Jesus about the boy with his small lunch of loaves and fishes that led to the Lord's miraculous feeding of the five thousand (John 6:8-9). (b) Andrew told Philip to ask Jesus about meeting the Greeks who wanted to see Him (John 12:20-22). Though called as a helper and not a leading apostle, Andrew died as a martyr, tradition claiming he was crucified on an X-shaped cross, Zon. Pict. Ency. of the Bible, v. One, p. 157.
      3. Peter became the leading Apostle who "opened the doors of the kingdom" by his Pentecost sermon (Acts 2:14-41), his Acts 3:12-26 sermon and his Acts 10:23-44 message to the Gentiles. Peter was later martyred by crucifixion in fulfillment of Christ's prophecy, John 21:18-19.
      4. John was the Apostle to whom Jesus assigned the care of his mother, Mary at Christ's death (John 19:26-27), and though some early traditions claim John was martyred, early Church father, Irenaeus, wrote that John spent his last days as a very elderly pastor at the Church in Ephesus where he "had to be carried to the Christian meetings" while "he used to repeat again and again Little children, love one another.'" (The New Bible Dictionary, 1973, p. 641) Likely due to the shock of the martyrdoms of the other disciples he knew so well, and, knowing of the vast cost for the birth of the Church in the cross of Christ, John reportedly reiterated the need for Christians to love one another to the end of his long life!
Lesson: The authority of Jesus Christ over His disciples is ABSOLUTE as seen in its profound effects on the twelve disciples, and it reveals His identity as the Messiah and God Incarnate to be very real.

Application: (1) May we believe on Christ as Messiah and God. (2) As a follower of Jesus, may we realize that His demands on us encompass all we are and have, but then yield to Him for rich blessing!