As most of you know, for the past month or so, we have been creating a timeline of significant events in the life & ministry of Jesus. Now of course, we certainly won’t get a chance to touch on every event in Jesus’ life – as we intend to wrap this all up around Easter time – but we do want to point out some of the more significant milestones along the way.
And so last week we looked at two significant ‘firsts’ for Jesus. We met some of his first disciples (specifically Peter, Andrew, John, Philip, and Nathanael) and then we watched him perform his first miracle as he transformed ordinary water into wine for a wedding celebration.
And we noted that Jesus didn’t perform this miracle in a flashy, spectacular way as to announce his arrival to the public – but rather, this was a rather subtle miracle – where only a handful of people even knew what He had done. But for those people – specifically those first 5 disciples who where with him – this was their first glimpse of the glory of Jesus, and as a result, his disciples believed in Him.
Of course, this would not be the only time that Jesus would reveal his glory to his disciples in miraculous ways so that they would believe in Him. This would continue throughout Jesus’ ministry. In fact, at the end of John’s Gospel we read:
30 The disciples saw Jesus do many other miraculous signs in addition to the ones recorded in this book. 31 But these are written so that you may continue to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing in him you will have life by the power of his name. John 20:30-31
And that’s really the overarching purpose of Jesus’ many miracles – so that his disciples (and us) would believe that He was the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing in him we would have life by the power of his name.
God’s purpose and desire is the same for us as it was for those first disciples – it hasn’t changed over these last two thousand years – He still desires for us believe in His Son Jesus and have life through the power of His name!
And that’s exactly what we’re going to see this morning as we continue to look at the early days of Jesus’ public ministry. Today, we’re going to see how Jesus continues to gather his disciples – showing them his glory in miraculous ways – and then inviting them to come and join Him in his mission.
We saw last week that Peter was one of the first disciples of Jesus – and was introduced to Jesus by his brother Andrew – although at that time, Peter was still going by his given name, “Simon”.
Jesus would rename him “Peter” at that first meeting, but it seems’s he’s still going by Simon in today’s story. But AFTER today’s story we see Peter adopt his new name. And I think that makes sense.
If someone met me for the first time and declared, your name is David, but you shall be called “Henry” – I don’t know that I would immediately go around and start introducing myself as Henry just because this stranger told me so.
But after what happens in our story today today, it’s not surprising that Simon would suddenly give a whole lot more weight to words and instructions of Jesus. But you’ll see what I mean as we go through the story.
If you want to follow along in your Bibles, we’ll be reading from Luke chapter 5 today – and we’ll be starting at verse 1.