Follow Me

Nearly 2000 years ago Jesus told His apostles, “Follow Me.” Today He is saying the same thing to you. “Follow Me.” You do NOT want to miss this invitation!

Podcast 32 Transcript

(This is a computer generated transcript of this podcast. This is NOT a typed transcript and it has not been edited. Expect grammatical and syntactical errors.)

Hello and good day. This is B. R. Maul, and you are listening to the podcast, Living God’s Way In An Ungodly World. Welcome to podcast number 32. Where are you with your walk with Jesus? Now, I ask that because I want you to think back to when you were born again. If you’re listening to this podcast and you have not been born again, well, maybe you’re there thinking about it.

I would speculate that would be a good probability. Otherwise, you probably wouldn’t be wasting your time listening to this podcast. But if you have been born again, think back to that time when you made that decision. Because a decision, it is. There’s much debate over major denominations about whether or not a person can actually choose to follow Jesus.

There is the theory that a person doesn’t choose, because if a person chooses, then that would be of works. And we know that being born again is not of works at all. There’s nothing we can do to earn our way. There’s nothing we can do to make God so impressed with us that he decides, even without believing in the blood of My Son, I will let you into heaven.

With that said, God gave us free will. It’s not mentioned in the Bible that way. You don’t hear free will. In fact, that’s kind of an oxymoron, because will is just will. But we do have a will. We can decide Whether or not to follow God. We get to decide whether or not to love God. Just like we get to decide what we’re going to eat, where we’re going to live.

Every decision that we make is because of a will. Some of those decisions are reactions. We may be reacting to something or to someone, but they’re still decisions. And that is how we are made in God’s image. There is no other creation that does that. There’s no plants, there’s no animals, there’s no element that can consider, contemplate, and then make a decision the way we do.

So yes, beloved, if you are born again, you made the decision to follow Jesus. The reason I wanted to ask you that specifically about when you were born again, because I also want you to think about what it was like for you. Because it’s different for everybody. Two apostles that we can compare that had quite the different experience would be Saul, who became Paul, and Simon, who became Peter.

I won’t spend any time really getting into Paul’s conversion, but for anybody who knows the story, we know that Saul being converted to Paul was pretty dramatic. He went from one extreme, persecuting Christians, killing them, to being an apostle of Jesus Christ. And then there’s Simon, who eventually was named Peter by Jesus.

Well, it didn’t happen so quickly with Simon and we’re going to look at some of the other apostles today as well Because those are the apostles that at the time were with Simon their lives were connected. They were doing business together They had known one another throughout their life and several of them were related So we’ll be looking at three of the Gospels.

The first one is in Matthew chapter 4, and I’ll be reading verses 18 to 22. And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brothers. Simon, called Peter. He wasn’t called Peter yet, but he would be. And Andrew, his brother, casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. Okay, I’ll pause right there, because now we need to be able to look at the situation as if we were there.

Because when reading God’s Word, there are many places that if we just gloss over, just read it really quickly, without pausing and kind of chewing on what it is that we’re reading, we can miss a lot of the details. These details, for example, are the fact that Simon and Andrew are professional fishermen.

We know that because they are, first of all, casting a net into the sea. So this is one of those big nets that they would cast over a boat. And not only for the material, because the material for the netting would be expensive enough, so not just anybody’s walking around, but also for the skill of doing that.

They’ve been doing this for years. Here comes Jesus, and he says, follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. So, just at a glance, that seems absurd. You’re talking to professional fishermen. Telling them to stop doing that and just come with me and you can fish for men, but verse 20 then says they Immediately left their nets and followed him.

Wow, isn’t that something? Professionals with their equipment they got their boat. They got their nets because it says plural they Immediately left their nets. So they have multiple ones. They have a lot of money invested in this Jesus comes, says something that sounds rather funny, and they just follow him.

Verse 21, going on from there, he saw, that’s Jesus, two other brothers, James, the son of Zebedee, and John, his brother, in the boat with Zebedee, their father, mending their nets. He called them, and immediately they left the boat.

I remember first reading these passages years ago, and I know they sounded unbelievable to me. Like this was set up, like this is a fictitious story that the author writing it already knew the ending of. And so the characters had nothing to lose. They were just doing what the author wrote them to do. But these are real men. These are… professionals who are making a living just like you and just like me whether you’re going to school and you’re learning, anticipating someday to be a professional or you are a professional and in your work field You do what you’re doing time and time again, and you are very good at it And you too if you’re a business owner may have a lot of money invested into what you’re doing.

So it seems unrealistic because I get the impression when I first read this that they’re just doing their thing here comes Jesus out of nowhere They don’t know who he is. And then suddenly he says follow me. They drop everything and go But that’s one thing I wanted to show in our readings today, because I don’t want you to be discouraged if you’re one who hasn’t followed Jesus yet.

Because very, very few conversions are Saul to Paul, where Jesus himself appears, speaks right to the individual. And that individual soon after converts, especially they do a-180 like Saul did becoming Paul. Jesus works in our lives. He meets us where we’re at in life, because he knows us better than anyone else.

And in the case of these four men, there’s some history already. up to this point. We’re going to look at the Gospel of John, chapter 1, verses 35 to 42. And listen to this. Now this took place before what I just read now. John 1, 35. Again, the next day, John stood with two of his disciples. This is John the Baptist.

And looking at Jesus as he walked, he said, Behold, the Lamb of God. The two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus. Then Jesus turned, and seeing them following, said to them, What do you seek? They said to him, Rabbi, which is to say, when translated, teacher. Where are you staying? He said to them, Come and see.

I’ll stop right there. This is another example of how people hear of Jesus. And as a Christian, through our conversations, With people who don’t know Jesus, we should be pointing them to him. Notice how John the Baptist, John the Baptist at this point in time has a very large ministry. And many people could look at that and think, wow, you know, what a success, you know, the more people you get, the more successful you are, just like we see in churches today, people want to measure how successful a church is by how many people come to it, how many members they have, but that’s not the way God measures it.

He would have measured John’s success in the way John reacted, because when he saw Jesus walking by, he announces who it is. Behold the Lamb of God. So he points the two disciples, who at the time were his disciples, following him and listening to his teachings, and he points to Jesus Christ. He is introducing, he is pointing them to Jesus.

So, that’s one step, us pointing to Jesus. Can you think back of people in your life who were pointing you to Jesus? Sometimes that’s directly, like John the Baptist. Hey, here’s Jesus. Here’s who he is. Let me tell you about him. Other times, it’s more indirect. But even when we’re pointed in that direction, notice how the two disciples make a decision.

They heard him speak. And they followed Jesus. So they heard John the Baptist speak. They listened. They were open to what John the Baptist was saying. And then they turned and followed Jesus. Jesus turns and when he asks them, what do you seek? They call him rabbi. They just say, where are you staying?

That’s taking another step. They’re asking Jesus questions. And Jesus, in his own loving ways, says, come and see. Continue reading. They came and saw where he was staying and remained with him that day. Now it was about the tenth hour. If I do my math right, I think that’s about four o’clock in the afternoon.

So they spent a lot of time with him. A lot of time. Hours talking. One of the two who heard John speak, John the Baptist, and followed him, followed Jesus, was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. Verse 41, he first found his own brother Simon and said to him, So now Andrew, after visiting with Jesus for hours, sitting down where Jesus himself is staying and visiting and visiting, goes to his own brother Simon and says, we have found the Messiah, which is translated the Christ.

And he brought him to Jesus. So Andrew brings Simon to Jesus. Now here we see yet another characteristic of how people can come to Christ, whether it’s the process of, or what ultimately leads them to Christ. So Andrew is pointed to Jesus from the one who is disciplining him, John the Baptist. He leaves John the Baptist.

The one he’s following and learning from to go and find out more about Jesus. And that’s what we should do. We should encourage other people to go straight to God’s word. We should point them to Jesus, let them know who Jesus is, but then point them to the Bible. Maybe invite them to read one of the Gospels.

Here’s Jesus, now you ask him some questions. Now Andrew, in his excitement, he goes to his brother. It says here that he brought him to Jesus. It didn’t say Simon went to Jesus. So Simon himself may not have been very excited about this. He would have known about the Messiah, but maybe he just didn’t believe him.

For whatever reason, I mean, life does that to us and to people that we are trying to communicate to Jesus about life Easily distracts and of course the enemy is the biggest distractor trying to get everybody to not look towards Jesus But Andrew brought him to Jesus, his brother Simon. So I don’t know if he was pulling him along, you know, just come see, come, come, continue reading here.

Now when Jesus looked at him, that’s Simon, he said, you are Simon the son of Jonah. You shall be called Cephas. Which is translated, a stone. So this stuff all happened before Jesus sees them in their boats and says, follow me and I will make you fishers of men. Hopefully that’s encouraging to you, because when I am talking to somebody about Jesus, about my faith, knowing what I know, But not necessarily communicating it correctly, or sometimes it’s just a matter of there’s not much time, so the little time I have, perhaps, whatever it may be, but when others that I talk to don’t just jump up and run to Jesus, it can be discouraging, thinking, well, you heard it.

You know, Jesus just said, hey, come follow me and they just dropped everything, but Jesus was working in their hearts. Moving on to Luke chapter 5, 1 through 11. So it was as the multitude pressed about him, that’s Jesus, to hear the word of God, that he stood by the lake of Gennesaret, which is the Sea of Galilee.

And saw two boats standing by the lake, but the fishermen had gone from them. And we’re washing their nets. So Jesus is teaching, the multitude is getting bigger and bigger, and he decides, I’m going to get into a boat so I can kind of back up and speak out to these people. So then he got into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, and asked him to put out a little from the land.

And he sat down and taught the multitudes from the boat. Let’s stop there and just think about the scenario here now. Because now you have Simon and the other fishermen, which is also Andrew and James and John, but they’re washing their nets. So the fact that they are washing their nets means they’re done for the day.

How do we know that? Because they’re washing their nets, and that’s something that the fishermen would do after the day was done. That’s not something they would do at the beginning of the day, because they’d want their nets all cleaned and ready to go. So in early in the morning or late at night, whenever it is they go, it’s all set.

They can get up. Put their equipment in their boat and head on out. So the fact they’re washing their nets tells us that they are done for the day. So now picture Simon and Simon can have sort of a temper to him. Simon’s one of those guys who speaks first and then thinks later. He reacts a lot. I can picture Simon after a long day of fishing and we learn in a moment that It was a very unsuccessful day at that, and here comes Jesus, gets into his boat, doesn’t even ask, just gets in, and says, give me a shove.

I can imagine Simon, after a long day of work, just wanting to get home, rolling his eyes, feeling very impatient, maybe biting his tongue because he wants to say something, but he just pushed Jesus out on with the boat. Moving on. Verse 4, when he had stopped speaking, he said to Simon, Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.

There you go. So, it’s kind of insult to injury because now Jesus, who Simon has met, they’ve been talking a lot about, this has been the big talk of the town, Jesus, at this point, has attracted quite the crowd. Simon hasn’t followed him yet. He doesn’t believe Jesus yet. He may be hopeful. Like others, he may be talking a lot about it.

But up until this point right now, we don’t see anything from Simon that suggests that he’s all gung ho, or believes who Jesus says he is. And now this Jesus is telling him, the professional fisherman, What to do now Simon it says here But Simon answered it and said to him these little tiny words such as but tells us that well Simon wasn’t too Happy with that suggestion because let me read this again verse 4 when he had stopped speaking He said to Simon, launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.

Don’t get back out there on your boat and let down those nets that you just cleaned. But Simon answered and said to him, Master, we have toiled all night and caught nothing. It’s like Simon begins to say, No, forget it. Nevertheless, he continues. At your word, I will let down the net. I can hear the sigh. in Simon’s reply to Jesus.

But I have to hand it to Simon because he said, okay, verse 6. And then, this is when things turn around. And when they had done this, they caught a great number of fish and their net was breaking. So 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.

Now that’s a lot of fish. Completely unsuccessful day. Horrible day that they were having, these fishermen. And just like that, these nets fill up. When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus knees, saying, Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord. Notice he calls him Lord. Now Simon is following him.

For he and all who were with him were astonished at the catch of fish which they had taken. And so also were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, Do not be afraid, from now on you will catch men. So when they had brought their boats to land, they forsook all and followed him.

But Simon didn’t believe right away. That should give us hope, because if you look back, you may not have believed right away. We all have different stories. Myself was brought up in a home. My mother being born again Loving Jesus so much and so I had that Before me as a little boy growing up. I heard her speak about Jesus praying to Jesus But there was a lot of conflicting messages I got, because there were many in the family who say they knew Jesus, but they didn’t act like my mother.

They acted more like the world. Looking back, there were times I had great doubt, not in who Jesus was, but more about what he would do or could do in my life, because I didn’t feel like he was there to save me. And our feelings can often get in the way. Now, looking at these different passages, I do hope that this has helped to really put together what could easily be the process for many people.

in coming to know Jesus. Most people, upon hearing who Jesus is, being introduced to Jesus, they don’t just right away throw their arms around him and follow him. People have questions. People want to know more. People need to get over their unbelief. So if you are a born again believer, keep that in mind as we continue to spread the name of Jesus, especially in this time where the enemy is moving even faster.

Satan knows his time is coming to an end soon enough, then we need to move faster, too. That’s one reason I do this podcast because it’s one more message out there that perhaps people will continue to stumble upon or come upon and They too will hear the name Jesus And if you are one of those, and you don’t really know who Jesus is, you’ve heard of the name Jesus perhaps, or maybe you’ve heard the name Jesus a lot, and you’ve been attending a church that every Sunday they talk about Jesus.

The name Jesus is here and there, and there’s crosses that are up, but there’s many people around you that they don’t act like they know Jesus. Sadly to say, many people are filling the churches today that do not follow Jesus. They know who he is, but they’re still on the sideline. Unlike Simon, they have not fallen to the ground truly seeing who he is.

And as Simon did, seeing who they are, because do you notice how Simon right away drops to his knees because he realized for the first time who he was looking upon, and the words out of his mouth were, Depart from me for I am a sinful man, O Lord. The very presence of God when we come to realize when the Holy Spirit opens a person’s eyes and for the first time we see just how holy God is, it also makes us see just how dirty and sinful and messy we are.

And that is part of coming to Christ. And if you’re one of those who, that is where you’re, you are at. And you’re seeing, for the first time, how sinful you are, and that you need a Savior. Then I encourage you right here and right now to stop whatever you are doing, repent of your sins, turn and face towards God, which is turning away from your sins, and give your life to the Lord.

What does that look like? An honest, heartfelt prayer. As simple as, Heavenly Father, thank you for revealing yourself to me. Thank you for showing me your Son. Thank you for showing me just how desperate I am, how dirty I am, and how I need to be cleansed by a Savior, and Jesus Christ is that only one. Come into my heart.

Come into my life. I give my life to you, Lord. and then give him thanks. It’s not what you say, it’s how you feel it in your heart. If you’re sincere, he knows. And then, welcome to the family, brother or sister. In Proverbs 12 verse 28, the New King James Version reads, In the way of righteousness is life, and in its pathway there is no death.

Jesus is the righteous way. There is no other righteous way. Being a law abiding citizen is not the righteous way. Going to church every single Sunday, never missing one service, giving quadruple the amount for tithing. is not the righteous way. Being as nice of a person as you can is not the righteous way.

Living in a family who talks about Jesus isn’t the righteous way. Only following Jesus, knowing and admitting that you are a sinner and then following him. That’s the righteous way. Now, I do appreciate how the NIV version, Proverbs 12, 28, it reads a little differently. In the way of righteousness, there is life.

Along that path is immortality. Living immortal in the presence of God. That is the difference between life and eternal death. Eternal life is living in the presence of God, and I tried thinking about that today. I was driving getting some errands done and in my car and I’m thinking, you know, what is it going to be like living in the presence of the Holy God for the rest of eternity?

And as I was speaking to the Lord, just praying on that, meditating on it, it really came to me, I think we’ve had tastes of it here. Just little glimpses of what it’s going to be like and two things came to mind. One, when I was a little boy. Some of the most happiest moments, most exciting moments I can remember is being in elementary school and school just ending for the day right before Christmas break.

The teacher was explaining that, okay, all your work is handed in everybody. You’ve done a good job. Everyone can go home, enjoy your Christmas break, and we’ll see you in the new year. And as a little boy, I just remember feeling so excited, anticipating. I had my whole entire Christmas break ahead of me.

All that fun, all that excitement. And Christmas was coming, presents under the tree, goodies to eat, and plenty of time before the next school day. As giddy as I was, as happy and joyful as I was, I think that’s a taste of what it’s going to be like living in the presence of God. I really do. And I also believe there are other moments.

For me, it’s when I open up the Bible and on a day where it looks like or feels like it’ll be an easy day. I don’t have much on my plate. Well, I don’t have much to do that day. And opening up God’s Word, I know I got the next hour or two of just being with my Holy Father. I admit, that’s not as giddy and as exciting as it was when I was a boy, the anticipation.

But as an adult, There’s a lot of joy in that, and I think that that, too, is a taste of what it’s going to be like to live in the presence of the Holy God. Well, with that said, thank you so much for joining me on this podcast. I hope and pray that you continue walking with the Lord, that you are reading His Holy Word each and every day.

Talking to him praying to him and that every single day through that process of sanctification You’re becoming a little more like your Savior Jesus Christ If you have any questions you want to reach out to me, please do so. Go to my website, There’s a place you can click on there to get ahold of me.

Love to hear from you.

And until next time,

God bless.