That Good Doctor, part eleven

I’m very excited because we’re at a point in the book of Luke where Peter (currently named Simon at this point in history) comes on the scene. When I rededicated my life to Jesus in the early part of 2015, nobody spoke to me more in the Bible than Peter. As I pledged myself to the study of the word, it was Peter who drew me in and gave me a connection to the faith that I understood. As we join the story today, Jesus was teaching on the shore and the crowd was very large. So he asked a fisherman he’d never met named Simon (soon to be renamed to Peter) to take him out on the water so he can teach to everyone on the shore. Then this happens.

Luke 5:4-5 When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Now go out where it is deeper, and let down your nets to catch some fish.” 5 “Master,” Simon replied, “we worked hard all last night and didn’t catch a thing. But if you say so, I’ll let the nets down again.”

I love so many things in these two verses. Simon’s only exposure to Jesus so far is this chance meeting they just had. Simon happened to have his boat parked nearby and was cleaning his nets after a frustrating night of fishing, and he took Jesus out on the water and heard him teach for a time. He doesn’t know Jesus very well, but he recognizes something special in the man. And he recognizes a deep truth that we all need to recognize:

Even when it doesn’t make sense in the natural, if Jesus says so, then accept that it shall be so.

Simon didn’t have a ton of reason to know this, but somehow he knew. I know a lot of people with stories just like this, stories where the Lord did something that made no sense. When unqualified people went for jobs they couldn’t possibly get and they got them, when injured people moved a broken limb because Jesus prompted them to, when the Lord called someone across the country to a place where they knew nobody because He had great plans for them there.

Jesus doesn’t follow our logic, and as the maker of all things, he can and does command those things to bow down before him from time to time. When my God says cross the sea, sometimes He means do it on foot because He’s gonna part it. When my Jesus stands on the water and says “come”, sometimes he’s not talking about swimming, sometimes he means for you to step upon the liquid and walk. If Jesus says so, then accept it shall be so. Let’s see how that worked for Peter.

Luke 5:5-6 “Master,” Simon replied, “we worked hard all last night and didn’t catch a thing. But if you say so, I’ll let the nets down again.” 6 And this time their nets were so full of fish they began to tear!

When we set aside our understanding and accept the word of God, this is the kind of thing that happens.

Isaiah 55:8-9 “My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. 9 For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.

In this moment, as Peter and his men tried to pull up a miracle catch of fish, I promise you that this scripture from Isaiah was more than just words to him. It was unquestionable truth.

Before we go for today, there’s one last part of this to look at. Here’s the very next verse in Luke.

Luke 5:7 A shout for help brought their partners in the other boat, and soon both boats were filled with fish and on the verge of sinking.

When we submit to the will of God and walk the path He sets before us, we will be blessed so much we’ll have no choice but to share it with those around us. Even when Peter shifted some of the fish to the other boat, both of the boats were still so filled with blessing that they were on the verge of sinking. That’s a lot of fish! And that’s also a perfect representation of the heart of God. He doesn’t just want to give us a tiny portion, He wants to give you so much in life that your only choice is to give some of it away. And guess what He does when you empty your boat a bit? He fills it up again.

Jesus asks us to do some things that can feel scary, some that can feel weird, some that seem downright illogical. For Peter and his men to get geared up and go fish again after just coming back in from a failed fishing expedition made no sense. But Jesus doesn’t care about what makes sense to us, he cares about our obedience to his magnificent plans. Every single time I’ve ever submitted to the plans of God, I’ve found fulfillment and blessing not far down the path. Stop getting caught up on how much sense it makes and start focusing on the majesty of the one telling you to do it.

Matthew 16:24  Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross, and follow me.

Abandoning a lifetime of self-focused pursuits and a self-focused mentality that society has taught us to have and leaving it all behind to follow Jesus doesn’t make complete sense to the human mind. Yet it is without a doubt the most rewarding and fulfilling thing we can possibly do with our time on this earth. Even when it doesn’t make sense in the natural, if Jesus says so, then you can trust that it’s going to be worthwhile. He doesn’t call us to be his followers lightly, he does it because it was our destiny all along, and he knows that within that destiny is all the goodness and purpose we were designed to experience.
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I’m so uplifted by this reminder today that God’s way is always best. It doesn’t have to make sense to us, friends, we just have to love Jesus and follow him. He orchestrates the rest, and he is a beautiful conductor. I love each and every one of you and I hope your week is going great. If there’s anything I can pray for you about or if you’d like to talk about anything please feel free to email me at freejenkins@gmail.com

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