Posted by: Billy Marsh | October 14, 2008

Chesterton On Jesus’ Threefold Call To Discipleship

At Redeemer Church, my pastor, Tim Presson, is currently preaching through the Gospel of Matthew. Yesterday (10/12/08), the sermon text fell upon Matt 4:18-22, and Jesus’ calling of the first disciples to leave their nets in order to be made into fishers of men. It was a very powerful message and exposition that broadened into a strong exhortation into serious Christian living, definitely channeling much of the force of Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s classic work, The Cost of Discipleship.

Towards the end of the sermon, Tim submitted three things that G. K. Chesterton had observed to which Jesus called the first disciples, yet not to the exclusion of all subsequent followers of Christ. I’m not as familiar with Chesteron’s works, so I’m not sure which source he pulled these from, so you’ll have to be stuck with the secondary citing for now. However, I’ve been dwelling on them today, and have found them to be very valuable points, and I thought that I might share them briefly with you also. The first two are meant to set you up for number three, which serves as the punchline (I point this out since reading them may not merit the same response as they would by means of oral delivery).

3 Things to Which Jesus Calls His Disciples (G. K. Chesterton)

  1. To Be Completely Fearless
  2. To Be Absurdly Happy
  3. To Be Constantly In Trouble

Tim’s sermon is now available online for your listening pleasure. I encourage you to take time to listen to the entire message. It is a solid message on summoning people to be wholly committed to the true reality of Christian discipleship.

  • Subscribe to the Redeemer Podcast to listen to the sermon “Four Disciples Chosen“.
  • Listen to the sermon at Redeemer’s “Sermon Audio” website.


  1. Funny how I can’t find the origin of Chesterton’s quote anywhere on google. I’m guessing it’s one of those stand-alone quotes that people having been using for a long time.

  2. Donald,

    Yeah, I’m not sure. I haven’t tried to look it up on the internet. Like I said, I’ve not read much of Chesteron, so it could be anywhere. However, if Tim quoted it, I’m sure it is from a specific place in one of Chesterton’s works. Tim is both an avid reader and a careful scholar, and is a trustworthy source for this kind of information. If I find out where he took this from, I’ll update the post. Thanks for stopping by.


  3. Tim said it’s from William Barclay’s commentary on Mark’s parallel text.

  4. Yeah, I already spoke with him about it. He found it in Barclay’s commentary, but it is still a quote from Chesterton. I also found it connected online to Chesterton in other places, but they still did not give away the source. I’m emailing some other people right now who are Chesterton buffs to find out which book it is from. Hopefully, this search will not end in vain.

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