Lesson 1: Called
Take some time and introduce yourselves. What motivated you to start this discipleship material?
Watch this next video as David Newkirk describes an experience that leads to our first question.
1. Have you ever had an experience like this? If so, share how you responded.
In Luke 5, we see how Jesus calls the first disciples to follow Him. As you read this passage, pay special attention to Simon Peter’s reaction to Jesus.
Read Luke 5:1-11:
1 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. (Luke 5:1-11 ESV)
2. What are the two requests and one command (at the end of verse 10) that Jesus makes of Simon? Which of these seems like the more difficult to obey?
One thing to remember is that how God interacted with people back then is the way God interacts with people today. Jesus first asks Simon to use his boat. After fishing all night and catching nothing, I bet Simon was exhausted! Yet, he still obeyed Jesus. The next request from Jesus to Simon is to throw his net in the water once again. This time there is pushback from Simon. Yet, he still is obedient. Because of his obedience, what happened? The catch of fish was incredible! Then Jesus gives Simon a command “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching people!”
You can probably identify with Simon’s tension in this story (“Master, we worked hard all night and caught nothing”).
3. Can you think through a time in your life where you fought through all the “practical” reasons not to obey Jesus, but chose to lower your nets anyway?
4. How did Jesus use your obedience?
This next video is from Yvonne Bock. Yvonne has had the opportunity to work with displaced children in many different contexts. This is her story of saying yes in obedience to Christ.
As Christ’s disciples, we are called to follow His example. He came “to proclaim good news to the poor, to proclaim release to the captives and the regaining of sight to the blind, to set free those who are oppressed…” (Luke 4:18-19). The poor to whom Jesus was sent were not just the economically poor, or the spiritually impoverished, but people of low status in society – those who are excluded and marginalized. Likewise, the blind are those who need to receive revelation and experience salvation.
5. Who in your community is being excluded and marginalized? Take a moment right now and identify those who Jesus is talking about in your neighborhood, workplace, school, or city.
6. As you think of reaching out to those you have identified, what objections or fears does this bring up in you?
* Before the next meeting: Go on a walk around your neighborhood and pray that God will help you identify people that need His love. Ask Him to use you to help meet that need.