Peter and John had received specific, detailed instructions from Jesus. They went forth and followed those directions. The result? Everything happened “just as He [Jesus] had told them.” This is an important lesson for all of us. Good outcomes in life happen as we specifically and diligently follow Jesus’ instructions. Let’s look at a few more encouraging examples.
Peter and the others had fished all night and caught nothing. That morning Jesus arrived on the shoreline and called out to them, “Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.” They obeyed the Lord’s precise instructions and hauled in a large catch.
Jesus called Peter (and all of us believers) to be “fishers of men.” Imagine the great harvest of souls available if we’ll just listen to Jesus speaking to us by the Holy Spirit (John 16:13-15) to guide our soul-“fishing” efforts.
This adult man had been blind his entire life. Then Jesus came up to him and touched his eyes with some mud and told him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam.” Think about that: mud on the blind man’s eyes … instructions to go wash in a nearby pool… That must have seemed strange, but the blind man obeyed exactly what Jesus had told him to do. And he was healed of his blindness.
I often hear Christians lamenting the lack of healings in their churches and ministries. I want to suggest that you take such thoughts directly to Jesus. Ask Him for insight into His Word and for direction of your heart into faith to receive divine healing. Remember, the blind man simply obeyed Jesus’ command and received that great miracle.
Here’s another great Bible account of healing by following Jesus’ specific instructions. Luke 17:12-14 tells of the Lord encountering 10 lepers who stood at a distance and cried out, “Jesus, Master, have pity on us!” Verse 14 says, “When He saw them, he said, ‘Go, show yourselves to the priests.’ And as they went, they were cleansed.”
No fanfare, not even a prayer is mentioned. Our Lord and Savior simply directed them to go show themselves to the priests. They hadn’t even gotten to the priests, but “as they went” they were healed of their leprosy. Don’t lose our main thought by wondering why or how Jesus did it precisely that way. The point to remember is that (1) Jesus gave the lepers specific instructions, and (2) they obeyed His words. The result? A dramatic healing of all ten men. I hope a convincing realization is dawning in your souls as we read these Scriptures. And that thought is — as our title above says — do exactly what Jesus tells you to do. That will lead to His intended outcomes in all areas of life, not just healings or catching “fish” (souls). Let’s see another Bible instance of this truth.
Simon (Peter) and his brother Andrew were fishermen by trade in the Sea of Galilee. As Jesus walked by them on the shoreline, He said, “Come, follow me.” In this case, no details were given to convince them, just a simple, “Come, follow me.” And at His word the two fishermen left their nets immediately (“at once”) and followed Jesus.
The obedient response of two otherwise unknown men substantially changed the course of world history. Both men became apostles of Jesus and ministered with great power. Peter went on to write two epistles of the New Testament and to be the dominant figure in the first 12 chapters of the Bible’s Book of Acts.
What should be our takeaway? I think we can safely say that Jesus’ call to every man, woman, and child is: “Come, follow me.” Obey His call, without hesitation, from that first moment of hearing Him summon you. Stay close to Him for the rest of your life, and expect time and again to hear the Lord give you clear direction for life and conduct. And at the end of a fruitful life serving Him, you’ll be able to look back on fulfilling episodes in your life that resulted from your having done exactly what Jesus told you to do. Let’s close with one Scripture to bind this truth deeply in our hearts.
This is Jesus’ famous Great Commission to the Church then and today. Here and in the parallel account in Mark 16, Jesus bids His Church to go forth, to preach and teach about Him, to bring the lost to salvation and to discipleship, to baptize these new believers, AND to “teach them to obey everything I [Jesus] have commanded you.”
To my fellow believers I appeal. Let’s dedicate ourselves increasingly to seeking our Lord Jesus in prayer, in worship, in His Word the Bible, in church services, and more. And be diligent to listen for His guidance and then — like the fishermen, like the blind man and the ten lepers, like Peter and Andrew — to do exactly what Jesus tells you to do in His Word and by that quiet inward voice of His Holy Spirit. Your life and the world around you will be better because of your obedience to Him.
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©2020, James H. Feeney.
Pentecostal Sermons & Bible Studies
by Pastor Jim Feeney, Ph.D.