When It Doesn’t Make Sense

Should we obey God? Before we answer too quickly: What if we bump up against a command in the Bible that makes no apparent sense to us, or perhaps rubs us the wrong way?

Let’s consider the following interchange between Jesus and Simon Peter.

Peter’s challenge

“And He got into one of the boats, which was Simon’s and asked him to put out a little way from the land. And He sat down and began teaching the people from the boat.”

What Jesus asked Peter to do here was easy. It didn’t require much effort, and it made perfect sense.

But notice what happens next: “When He had finished speaking, He said to Simon, ‘Put out into the deep water and let down your nets for a catch.’ Simon answered and said, ‘Master, we worked hard all night and caught nothing, but I will do as You say and let down the nets.’”

Initially he states the facts: worked hard, all night, caught nothing.

“. . . but I will do as You say and let down the nets.”

After a night of hard work with only empty nets to show for it, fishing was probably the last thing Peter wanted to do at the moment. Who could blame him?

But good ole Peter! Overcoming his natural reluctance, he obeys—and is amply rewarded.

“. . . they enclosed a great quantity of fish, and their nets began to break.” Peter and his partners “filled both of the boats, so that they began to sink” (Luke 5:1-11).

The nets that came up empty the night before are now torn by the weight of the catch!

In response to the facts Peter cited—worked hard, all night, caught nothing—Jesus provided a new set of facts—great quantity of fish, nets breaking, boats sinking.

Jesus positive facts far outweighed Peter’s negative facts.

Peter’s growth

This wouldn’t be the last time Peter would find what Jesus said extremely difficult to accept. As time went on, Peter realized increasingly that Jesus is never wrong.

To his credit, Peter moved past his initial objections: “. . . but I will do as You say . . . .”

If Peter had known all along what was about to happen, would he have objected? But since he didn’t know, he had to trust.

He was learning to “walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7).

What was Peter’s reward that day? A big catch? Something far better: a strengthened faith and a clearer understanding of just how powerful Jesus is.

What if Peter had refused to obey?

And what if we?

Christ’s power + our obedience → great results.

Makes sense.

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Scripture quotations taken from the NASB: http://www.lockman.org/

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“Know for certain . . . .”

What they heard

It was a day they would never forget.

Peter offered his audience four evidences that Jesus is the Christ.

First, His miracles (v. 22).

Second, fulfilled prophecy (vv. 16-21, 25-31, 34-35).

Third, the apostles’ eyewitness testimony to His resurrection (v. 32).

Fourth, the miracles on the day Peter spoke, including the apostles’ miraculously speaking languages that those in attendance understood (vv. 4-11, 33).

How they responded

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These four evidences dovetail into one conclusion: “Therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ—this Jesus whom you crucified” (v. 36).

Would that be enough to convince you?

It was enough for about 3,000 that day to be baptized for the forgiveness of their sins (vv. 37-41).

And the church was born.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB: http://www.lockman.org/

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