By Rev. J.B. Stopford

Today’s “Special”:  “Family Funny”

Two men met recently, and struck up a conversation. One was telling the other about some problems he was having with one of his kids.

After a while the other guy said, “You think you have family problems? Get a load of my situation. A few years ago I met a young widow with a grown-up daughter and we got married. Later, my father married my stepdaughter. That made my stepdaughter my stepmother and my father became my stepson.

“Also, my wife became mother-in-law of her father-in-law. Then the daughter of my wife, my stepmother, had a son. This boy was my half-brother because he was my father’s son, but he was also the son of my wife’s daughter, which made him my wife’s grandson. That made me grandfather of my half-brother.

“This was nothing until my wife and I had a son. Now the sister of my son, my mother-in-law, is also the grandmother. This makes my father the brother-in-law of my child, whose stepsister is my father’s wife.

“I am my stepmother’s brother-in-law, my wife is her own child’s aunt, my son is my father’s nephew and I am my own grandfather. Wow! You think you have family problems.”


In Gal. 2:9 Peter, James, & John are called “pillars” – “support, monument.” From the 12 of these disciples, to the 3, to the 1 (John, “whom Jesus loved”).  How did they get there?  


#1—CALLING OF the 3, A RESULT OF PRAYER (Luke 6:12-16)

The Savior is about to call His disciples – so He peruses the countryside,  posts flyers on every telephone pole, has an interview session set up, and then picks the 12 best candidates.  That’s how we might do it

He prays all night FIRST

Martin Luther: “I have so much to do today, I must spend 4 hours in prayer”

See John 17:20 – Jesus is doing the same today

Do we?


(John 1:29-31, 35-42)

All true salvation necessitates a proper view of Jesus (1:29-31)

First Jesus prayed (Luke 6), then He uses people where they are

One of Scripture’s most wonderful words is “come”: Matt. 11:28-30; Rev. 3:20

He would ask us:  do we see people as people, or just faces?

#3 —CALLING OF the 3 INVOLVES PERSONALITIES (Mark 3:13, 16-17)

What did He do first?  Went up to the mountain and prayed (v. 13)

Simon (“that hears; that obeys“) becomes “Peter” (“rock”; “stone”)

James, John He sees them as “sons of thunder” – an indication of their explosiveness – sometimes to talk before they think; sometimes to act with fire for the Lord (see Luke 9:51-56)

Jesus not only sees people as people, He sees them as unique servants with proper places in His kingdom

See Paul’s instruction in Romans 12:1-8

#4 —CALLING OF the 3  INVOLVES PURPOSE (Luke 5:1-11, esp. vs. 10-11)

See Luke 5:1-10 – can Jesus be a better fisher than experienced ones?

See Luke 5:11 – God has a purpose for His changing hearts


What lessons did we learn today:

#1  All decisions should be first preceded by prayer

#2  The Lord’s work requires seeing people as people

#3  The Lord sees the big picture in what He will do with His saints

#4  The Lord’s greatest purpose is eternal

Have you entered into this purpose?