Introduction: Is your heart at peace? At this moment I feel a very
heavy load of things to do. Burdens press me at work and at home. I
am always working to meet time deadlines. (Even to write this lesson
each week.) Our lesson this week is for those whose hearts are not at
peace. Jesus wants us, as His missionaries, to have peace in our
hearts. He wants us to understand how our timing is not His timing.
Let’s plunge into the Bible and find the path to peace!

  1. Following Jesus

    1. Read Luke 5:1-3. How much of an inconvenience is Jesus to
      these fishermen? (Very little. They were done fishing for
      the day, and Jesus was simply borrowing their boat so the
      people could see and hear Him teach.)

    2. Read Luke 5:4-5. What do you think motivates Jesus to give
      this instruction? (On the surface, He is returning a
      favor. You let me borrow your boat, I’ll help you earn
      some income.)

      1. Does Simon want to do this? Put yourself in Simon’s
        place, what reasons would you have for not doing
        this? (He worked all night and is tired. They had
        cleaned up all the equipment and are ready to go
        home. Jesus wants them to go out a way, He says
        “deep water.” This is a wild goose chase, what does
        this preacher know about fishing?)

    3. Read Luke 5:6-7. Was it worth doing what they did not want
      to do?

      1. What if they (the fishermen) had “just believed” and
        had not done anything in response to Jesus’ words?

        1. Would it have been a “sin” not to do what Jesus
          said? Wasn’t Jesus just offering a favor that
          they could take or leave? (My first reaction is
          that I don’t think it would have been a sin to
          say “We’re too tired to do this. We’ll do it
          tomorrow.” But, look at what a blessing they
          would have missed.)

    4. Read Luke 5:8-11. Have you changed your mind about the
      reason why Jesus told Simon to put out His nets? (Jesus is
      demonstrating that they should trust and follow Him. It is
      the build-up to the call to full-time discipleship with

      1. What would have happened if Simon had not put out his

        1. Isn’t it sin to not trust Jesus?

        2. Not catching anything would be a financial loss.
          Simon would have to work twice as hard the next
          day to catch up. What promise do we see for
          those who feel the pressure of earning money?

    5. Our study is about John, not Simon. How is John involved
      in this? (He is Simon’s business partner.)

      1. Is John as involved as Simon? (Simon is the
        spokesperson, but John is just as involved.)

    6. Read Mark 1:19-20. What important fact does this add to
      our story? (It tells us that this was not such an easy
      thing for John. First, John is leaving a partnership with
      his father. Second, this seems to be a prosperous
      business. The business consists at least of Simon, Andrew,
      John, James, Zebedee and a number of employees.)

      1. What if Jesus just called them without the large
        catch of fish? Would they have followed Him?
        (Simon’s reaction in Luke 5:8 shows that He thought
        this was a miracle. Jesus had power over nature. In
        addition, fish were money to them. Jesus showed that
        He could provide an income – even when it seemed

      2. What does this teach us about our missionary efforts?
        (Jesus can provide for both our spiritual and
        physical needs.)

    7. Read Mark 10:35-37. How much of a business motivation did
      John see in his decision to follow Jesus? (We now see that
      the business angle is much stronger than we thought. John
      left a prosperous fishing partnership, but he expected
      that he had moved into an even greater “business.” He was
      going to be a ruler in Jesus’ new kingdom on earth.)

    8. Read Mark 10:41-45. Was Jesus offering a “bait and
      switch?” Or, would John believe that he still had a chance
      to be a ruler? (I’ll bet that John heard Jesus’ words
      “whoever wants to become great,” but did not understand
      the “first must be slave of all” part of the message.)

      1. Does this remind you of the Jairus’s story that we
        studied last week? Is timing an important point in
        this issue? (To the extent that John understood that
        Jesus was creating a kingdom on earth in which John
        would be an important player, John was in for a
        disappointment. The rest of John’s life would be
        hard, he would never rule. But, if you collapse time
        (and the predictions of Isaiah 65:17-18 and
        Revelation 21:1-3) you see that John will indeed be a
        ruler here on earth. See Revelation 21:14.)

  2. The Transformation

    1. Read again Mark 10:45. What clear statement does Jesus
      make about His future and the hope of the disciples to be
      rulers? (Jesus came to serve and to give His life for

      1. What does this teach us about our life here?

    2. Read 1 John 3:11-15. Was John ever like Cain? (Yes, when
      John was a rival to the rest of the disciples. He desired
      to rule over them, and desired more favor from God than
      for the others. At that point he was like Cain. Cain
      compared God’s favor to Abel with God’s reaction to him,
      and he determined to kill Abel.)

      1. At what point ( 1 John 3:14) did John pass over from
        death to life? (When he understood the idea of loving
        his fellow humans meant serving them.)

    3. Read 1 John 3:16-18. Have you made the transition from
      loving only with your words to loving with your money and
      your actions?

    4. Read 1 John 3:19-20. Do you have peace in your life?

      1. What formula for achieving peace does John suggest?
        (Our hearts will be at rest when our lives are
        devoted to help others.)

      2. How does this relate back to Cain and John (during
        his early years)? (When they wanted to rule, their
        hearts were not at rest. God is not telling us to be
        lazy or to lack ambition. Colossians 3:23 tells us to
        work as if God is our employer. But, our goal is not
        to have others serve us. Our goal is to do great
        things for others, to do great things for the Kingdom
        of God.)

    5. Read 1 John 3:21-22. How many people read these verses and
      conclude that God will give them anything they want?

      1. What important qualifier to this promise have we just
        discussed? (If you are asking to help others, if you
        are serving others, then God will give you what you
        want. If we are asking to help ourselves, then this
        is a different matter.)

    6. Friend, what is the direction of your life? Are you
      struggling for personal glory? Or, do you seek to be a
      blessing to others? God offers us peace. Peace in our
      efforts to serve others here. Peace in the knowledge that
      with time He will make all things right. Peace in the
      knowledge that God is in charge. Will you take the road
      to peace?

  3. Next week: From Folly to Faith: the Apostle Peter.