After Jesus’ baptism He began His earthly ministry by calling his disciples. The first two were John and Andrew.
John 1:36–39 “36 and he (John the Baptist) 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.”
He invited them to come and see who he was. And when Andrew ‘came and saw’,
John 1:40–41 … He immediatly found his brother Simon and said to him, “We have found the Messiah” (which means Christ).”
Jesus immediately began to give these men new purpose. To Simon Peter, the loudmouthed fisherman he said,
John 1:42 “…“You are Simon the son of John? You shall be called Cephas” (which means Peter).”
This name change began to lay the foundation for Peter’s future ministry. Jesus began to call these men to a new purpose. He went on seek out and call Phillip, “Follow Me.”
Phillip immediately responded with this new purpose, went and told Nathaniel, “We have found the Messiah.” Nathaniel initially did not believe but Phillip encouraged him, the same way Jesus had invited John and Andrew, “come and see.” After Nathaniel had spoken with Jesus for just a few moments he responded.
John 1:49 “… “Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!””
Jesus continued to cultivate his relationship with these men. They learned from his teaching. They experienced His miracles. They heard his prayers. They listened to his preaching. They saw him hungry. They watched him weep. They ate with him. They travelled with him. He served them. They did what He had asked, “Follow me and you will see.”
And after about 2 and a half years of following Peter finally saw that Jesus wasn’t just a mere prophet from which they could learn. But he confessed his belief, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.
Jesus’ response to Peter’s statement of belief must have reminded Him of this first meeting when he had changed his name to Peter.
Matthew 16:18 “And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”
Just a few short months later. The disciples hopes and dreams were shattered. The each abandoned Jesus as wicked men falsely accused and crucified Him. They watched him die, they buried him, they mourned for him. But 3 days later Jesus rose from the grave as he had said. He immediately began to show himself to his disciples. But Peter felt like he couldn’t follow any more. He demonstrated this by saying,
John 21:3 “… “I am going fishing.” They said to him, “We will go with you.” They went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.”
The next morning Jesus called out to them, Do you have any fish? They answered, “no.” Then Jesus told them to cast their nets on the right side of the boat. And when they did their nets were full. Peter immediately put on his coat and dove into the sea just to be with Jesus. Later as Jesus sat and spoke with Peter, He began to call him again. He asked him, “Peter do you love me more than these?”
Peter replied, “Yes, Lord you know I love you.” Jesus then commanded him, “Feed my lambs.”
Jesus asked again, “Peter do you love me?”
Peter responded “Yes, Lord you know I love you.” Jesus answered, Tend my sheep.
Then he asked a third time “Peter do you love me?”
Peter was grieved and he replied, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus replied, “Feed my sheep.” Jesus went on to tell Peter the death that he would die and he called the discouraged and disheartened Peter with the same call that he had called his disciples with 3 years earlier, follow me. Peter then talked back and asked. What about John? What will happen to him? Jesus responded,
John 21:22 “… “If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow me!””
The last words that we have recorded from Jesus directly to Peter were those emphatic words. You follow me! And he did. At Pentecost only just a short time from this event Peter stood in the power of the Holy Spirit and boldly proclaimed the gospel.
Acts 2:36 “Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified.””
The crowd was cut to their heart and asked, “what shall we do?”
Acts 2:38 “And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”
And they did. That day the church grew from a few followers in an upper room to over 3,000. And their resulting fellowship was characterized by,
Acts 2:42 “And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.”
And it spread
Acts 2:47 “…And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.”
Why? because the disciples had become disciple makers. They had followed Jesus. They had learned from him. They had believed in him. He encouraged them when they were ready to give up. And they began to obey his final command to be disciple makers. Will you follow Jesus by becoming a disciple making disciple by beckoning others to Come and See the Christ?