Matthew 4:18-22 – The Call

This week we reach that point in Matthew where Jesus seemingly wanders up to a couple of random fishermen and brings them onto His team. In Exodus, after Moses has an encounter with a burning bush, he finds his life is turned in a completely different direction. Is all as it might seem, or is there more to these calls than meets the eye?

Matthew 4:18-22

Speaking Notes – Caveat

These notes are my speaking notes and are provided as an accompaniment to the recording. Please accept that they are not intended to be a published grammatically correct essay. I do hope and pray however they help you move towards Jesus.

Now onto the content…

Did anyone play football or netball or basketball in senior school?

I wasn’t too bad in primary school at football, but by the time I got to senior school I had got bored with it and the truth is that I wasn’t that good. So when it came to PE and selection of the football teams I dreaded what would happen.

Did this happen at your school? They would pick the two best players to be captains of the teams. Then the captains would pick one by one people to be on their team. I knew I would never be picked first. I would never be picked fifth or sixth. The truth was my goal was simply to not be in the last two, or worse still the last one. No one wants to be the person who is on the team because they are the only ones left at the end.

That is what came to mind as I read how Jesus picked his team in today’s passage from the Bible.

If you were like me growing up you would have heard in school about these twelve people who were the disciples of Jesus. As far as I could tell from what I heard these blokes we some kind of superheroes one stepped removed from Superman or Jesus himself.

Actually, come to think of it whenever I saw a picture of them they had these halos around their heads. That has to have been awkward when playing hide and seek. Come on Peter we can see you hiding behind the bush, the glow from your halo gave you away.

Yes here they were these superhuman members of Jesus team, and I was told in school that I should be like them. That’s how I should behave.

There wasn’t a hope that I could be like them. I couldn’t even get picked for the football team in PE.

Moses who was another guy in the Bible a few thousand years before the Disciples who put it like this.

‘Who am I that I should go…

Pick someone else God he is saying. Why me God, what’s so special about me? What the heck can I do on my own? And that’s before the superhero disciples turned up.

Then after I chose to become an apprentice to Jesus I look at who the disciples actually were. We were not told the truth about them at school, I tell you.

Let’s take a look at just four of them. Who are the type of people Jesus picked first for his team? You listen to this and then we will work it out together.

8 As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. 19 ‘Come, follow me,’ Jesus said, ‘and I will send you out to fish for people.’ 20 At once they left their nets and followed him. 21 Going on from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John. They were in a boat with their father Zebedee, preparing their nets. Jesus called them, 22 and immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him.

Who were they?

They were brothers. Just amongst these four, we see two sets of brothers.

They are fisherman. They work with their hands

They are basic every day blokes who work with their hands. Actually, they might have had some money because fisherman did OK back in their day. They might be like a good mechanic, or plasterer, maybe a brickie. They worked with their hands but they were skilled and so when they had work when the fish were biting they did OK.

And these were the people Jesus picked to be on His team. These were the people who raised their hands and said yes Jesus pick me I am interested

Simon Peter & Andrew

Let’s delve a little deeper. How about the first set of brothers. First, we meet Simon who was called Peter. That is a man called Simon who changed his name to Peter.  Nothing wrong with changing your name it happens to the best of us.

So what was so special about Peter that Jesus picked him for His team?

Let me tell you about Peter.

  • He was the Disciple who just never understood what Jesus meant when he said anything.
  • At one point he sees Jesus walk on water, and gets out of the boat to do the same, only to get scared and nearly drown.
  • Another time Peter mucks up so much that Jesus says. “Get behind me, Satan!”
  • Another time he cuts someone’s ear off with a sword.
  • Then just before Jesus goes to the cross. Peter is the one who says. I will never leave you, Jesus, I will never tell people I don’t I know you. Only that very day scared out of his wits he tells three separate groups of people he has no idea who Jesus is.

And yet Jesus says of Peter.

This man will build my worldwide church of people across all nations.
This person will be on my team.

  • Have you every mucked up?
  • Have you ever said you will do something only to fail?
  • Have you ever said I don’t understand the Bible?
  • Have you ever regretted something you have done?
  • Have you ever been scared of the future?

Jesus says to you. I want you on my team!

Simon Peter & Andrew

What about Peter’s brother Andrew. Andy is another man who works with his hands, another fisherman.

So what was so special about Andy that Jesus picked him for His team?

Let me tell you about Andy.

  • The truth is he gave up everything his big mouthed brother gave up, but he doesn’t seem to have done so well out of it.
  • We don’t hear too much about Andy, he seems to have been overshadowed by Peter.
  • We see him working in the background with the feeding of the five thousand. A kitchen hand if you will.
  • We see him directing people towards Jesus, perhaps like a receptionist.

And yet we do see that Andrew is there at the end when Jesus launches His church in the book of Acts. Andy is there in the upper room.

Andy is quiet and in the background, perhaps a little shy and yet Jesus says.

This person will be on my team.

  • Have you ever had someone in your life who always outdoes you? A brother, a sister?
  • Every felt you are no good because you are too shy?
  • Have you ever felt you don’t count because of the small jobs you do?

Jesus says to you. I want you on my team!

James & John

You’re getting the picture now but let me finish anyway.

Let’s move onto James and John. They abandoned their Dad in the boat. Left the old man to run the business. I am sure that went down well.

So what was so special about James and John that Jesus picked them for His team?

  • Jesus called them Sons of thunder. Now I am no expert but to me, that sounds like they had anger issues.
  • And then there was their Mum. She went to Jesus and said can you treat my boys special can they be your right-hand men? Talk about embarrassing, talk about an overbearing parent.
  • John referred to himself as “the disciple whom Jesus loved”. He really wanted to be part of the inner circle, part of the cliche.

And yet amongst all this anger, and neediness, Jesus says:

These people will be on my team.

  • Have you ever been overwhelmed by your parent’s interference, such that you didn’t think you could do anything without their approval?
  • Do you find you get angry and frustrated for no apparent reason?
  • Have you always wanted to be part of some group but always kept outside?
  • Ever wanted to just be loved and liked?

Jesus says to you. I want you on my team!

The Big Idea

Do you know what we can learn from today’s passage is that:

  • When Jesus calls you to come to know him, he is ready for you.
  • When you get those nudges in your heart and your mind to investigate who Jesus is, you are ready for Him.
  • When Jesus nudges your heart about a job he might want you to do. When you see something and think someone should do something about that. You can do it. You are that someone.

Those twelves disciples:

  • Were not supermen.
  • They weren’t even particularly gifted people.
  • They most definitely were  not the finished product

But It doesn’t matter, because when Jesus calls both you and He are ready.


If we look at those disciples, we see that their story of becoming who they became was one of

  • Being nudged in their heart and mind to find more about Jesus.
  • To stepping out curious about whether it could be true.
  • To learn that it was true.
  • To become an apprentice of Jesus
  • To become all they were made it be.

But it all started with a nudge and a response of stepping out. Because you asking the question what’s so special about me? Is irrelevant. When Jesus calls, both you and He are ready.


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