Extreme Makeover: Holy Edition

Title: Extreme Makeover: Holy Edition

Bible Book: Matthew 4 : 19-20

Author: Franklin L. Kirksey

Subject: Commitment



Extreme Makeover: Home Edition is the name of a television show hosted by Ty Pennington featuring families who live in a home that needs improvement. The transformation is often quite emotional.

Jesus told some uneducated fishermen, “Follow Me and I will make you fishers of men” (Matthew 4:19b). This is part of God’s Extreme Makeover: Holy Edition.

Please note several details from our text.

I. There is a neighborly challenge to follow behind the rabbi named Jesus.

Jesus Christ came to be our earthly neighbor and desires to become our elder brother and Savior and Lord.

Rev. Fred McFeely Rogers (1928-2003), widely known as Mister Rogers, used to say, “It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood, a neighborly day in the beauty wood.”

Maybe you recall Dr. J. Harold Smith (1910-2001), known for his sermon titled “God’s Three Deadlines”, saying in his radio broadcast, “Howdy Neighbor!” He titled his monthly newsletter The Good Neighbor.

Matthew writes, “Then He said to them, Follow Me. . .” (Matthew 4:19a). To be neighborly involves being helpful or kind as a friendly good neighbor. In this regard, I think about Matthew 22:35-40, “But when the Pharisees heard that He had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. Then one of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, and saying, ‘Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?’ Jesus said to him, ‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”

We read in Luke 10:25-37 “And behold, a certain lawyer stood up and tested Him, saying, ‘Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?’ He said to him, ‘What is written in the law? What is your reading of it?’ So he answered and said, ‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,’ and ‘your neighbor as yourself.’ And He said to him, ‘You have answered rightly; do this and you will live.’ But he, wanting to justify himself, said to Jesus, ‘And who is my neighbor?’ Then Jesus answered and said: ‘A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, who stripped him of his clothing, wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a certain priest came down that road. And when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. Likewise a Levite, when he arrived at the place, came and looked, and passed by on the other side. But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was. And when he saw him, he had compassion. So he went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; and he set him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. On the next day, when he departed, he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said to him, ‘Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I come again, I will repay you.’ So which of these three do you think was neighbor to him who fell among the thieves?’ And he said, ‘He who showed mercy on him.’ Then Jesus said to him, ‘Go and do likewise.’”

Please note the amicable, considerate way Jesus issues the challenge of discipleship. He is a gentleman.

II. There is a necessary choice to forsake all the rivals to Jesus.

From Matthew 4:20a we read, “They immediately left their nets. . .” This is a part of the cost of discipleship. Remember Jesus’ encounter with a wealthy young man, known as the rich young ruler. We read in Matthew 19:16-22, “Now behold, one came and said to Him, ‘Good Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?’ So He said to him, ‘Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments.’ He said to Him, ‘Which ones?’ Jesus said, ‘You shall not murder,’ ‘You shall not commit adultery,’ ‘You shall not steal,’ ‘You shall not bear false witness,’ ‘Honor your father and your mother,’ and, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ The young man said to Him, ‘All these things I have kept from my youth. What do I still lack?’ Jesus said to him, ‘If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.’ But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.”

Remember, he was unwilling to follow Jesus because he loved money more than Jesus. Paul the Apostle warns, “But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. . . . Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy. Let them do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share, storing up for themselves a good foundation for the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life” (1 Timothy 6:9-10, 17-19).

A farmer asked his neighbor if he might borrow a rope. "Sorry," said the neighbor, "I'm using my rope to tie up my milk."

"Rope can't tie up milk."

"I know," replied the farmer, "but when a man doesn't want to do something, one reason is as good as another."

Dr. Luke writes in Luke 14:12-33, “Now when one of those who sat at the table with Him heard these things, he said to Him, ‘Blessed is he who shall eat bread in the kingdom of God!’ Then He said to him, ‘A certain man gave a great supper and invited many, and sent his servant at supper time to say to those who were invited, ‘Come, for all things are now ready.’ But they all with one accord began to make excuses. The first said to him, ‘I have bought a piece of ground, and I must go and see it. I ask you to have me excused.’ And another said, ‘I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I am going to test them. I ask you to have me excused.’ Still another said, ‘I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.’ So that servant came and reported these things to his master. Then the master of the house, being angry, said to his servant, ‘Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in here the poor and the maimed and the lame and the blind.’ And the servant said, ‘Master, it is done as you commanded, and still there is room.’ Then the master said to the servant, ‘Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled. For I say to you that none of those men who were invited shall taste my supper.’ Now great multitudes went with Him. And He turned and said to them, ‘If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple. And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it— lest, after he has laid the foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish’? Or what king, going to make war against another king, does not sit down first and consider whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? Or else, while the other is still a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks conditions of peace. So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple.”

On “Three Perils of Christian Discipleship”, Dr. Vance Havner (1901-1986) shares: “In the last six verses of the ninth chapter of Luke, we have what might be called three gospel snapshots. Three incidents are related with two verses given to each incident. Three men suddenly appear, and then just as suddenly, they are gone. We never hear of them again, and the tantalizing brevity of it all leaves us wondering what became of them. But if they do not stay long before us, they stay long enough to illustrate three perils of Christian discipleship.

Consider, first, the Peril of the Uncounted Cost, as set forth in verses 57 and 58 of Luke 9. . . . Consider, in the second place, the Peril of the Unburied Corpse. . . (Luke 9:59-60). . . . Consider, finally, the Peril of the Unforsaken Circle... (Luke 9:61-62).”[1]

Jesus must come before financial commitments. Jesus must come before parental concerns. Jesus must come before marital covenants.

If Jesus Christ is not Lord of all, He is not Lord at all!

We read of a time in the future in Philippians 2:9-11, “Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

III. There is a new church to found upon the Rock called Jesus.

Matthew writes, “. . . and followed Him” (Matthew 4:20b).

There is a cameo of the church recorded in Matthew 16:13-18, where we read, “‘When Jesus came into the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, saying, ‘Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?’ So they said, ‘Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.’ He said to them, ‘But who do you say that I am?’ Simon Peter answered and said, ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.’ Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.”

Peter writes, “Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious, you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 2:4-5).

Dr. Joel Gregory explains, “The confession of the godhead of Jesus Christ constitutes the foundation of His church. The first row of living stones on that foundation are the apostles and prophets (Ephesians 2:20). Did Peter have an exclusive place of prominence? Not so exclaimed Martin Luther [1483-1546]: ‘All Christians are Peters on account of the confession Peter here makes, which is the rock on which Peter and all Peters are built.’”[2]

Peter is a living stone as all believers are, but he is not “the Rock”. The Rock is Jesus Christ the Lord. Peter was a leader in the early church, while Jesus Christ is the Lord of His church. Paul the Apostle writes in Ephesians 2:19-22, “Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.” He writes in 1 Corinthians 3:10-11, “According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it. For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.”


Those who undergo God’s Extreme Makeover: Holy Edition will be trophies of grace for all eternity. Paul the Apostle confesses in 1 Corinthians 15:10, “But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.” He writes in Ephesians 2:4-7, “But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.”

God commands us to be holy. It is a command not a request. It is given in the Old Testament and repeated in the New Testament. Moses writes in Leviticus 11:44-45, “For I am the LORD your God. You shall therefore consecrate yourselves, and you shall be holy; for I am holy. Neither shall you defile yourselves with any creeping thing that creeps on the earth. For I am the LORD who brings you up out of the land of Egypt, to be your God. You shall therefore be holy, for I am holy.”

Peter writes, “Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance; but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, ‘Be holy, for I am holy.’ And if you call on the Father, who without partiality judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves throughout the time of your stay here in fear; knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot. He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you who through Him believe in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God” (1 Peter 1:13-21).

Some people erroneously conclude that holiness is limited to the expression of one particular denomination. It is comprehensive for all believers all the time. May the Lord move our hearts to pray as Robert Murray M' Cheyne (1813-1843) prayed, "Lord, make me as holy as a saved sinner can be.”

Dr. R. A. Torrey (1856-1928) stated, “I would like to ask what right a man has to call himself a follower of Jesus Christ if he is not a soul-winner? There is absolutely no such thing as following Christ unless you make the purpose of Christ’s life the purpose of your life.”

Jesus said to some unlettered fishermen, “I will make you fishers of men” (Matthew 4:19b). Are you ready for an Extreme Makeover: Holy Edition?

[1]The Vance Havner Notebook, Compiled by Dennis J. Hester (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1989), #70, [Rest, 25-26, 28-34]
Database © 2006 WORDsearch Corp. [2]The Believer’s Study Bible, ed. W. A. Criswell, Joel Gregory, “The Church: Building on the Rock”, (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1991), p. 1852

By Dr. Franklin L. Kirksey, pastor First Baptist Church of Spanish Fort 30775 Jay Drive Spanish Fort, Alabama 36527

Author of Sound Biblical Preaching: Giving the Bible a Voice Available on Amazon.com and WORDsearchbible.com
http://www.webspawner.com/users/franklinlkirksey / [email protected] / (251) 626-6210
© August 7, 2011 All Rights Reserved
Posted in


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top