This is for the gifted speaker or preacher who just can’t seem to get his point across. It’s for the exceptional teacher whose students this time just aren’t getting it.
This is for the counselor who isn’t making any difference whatsoever, or the business innovator who’s just run out of ideas as his organization is falling into the abyss.
This is for the genius sailor who just met up with the perfect storm.
It’s for the career fisherman who’s fished all night and caught nothing.
You may need to brace for impact.
You may need to prepare to be disturbed… not by how hard things are to you at your point of genius, but by how senselessly easy they are for Jesus when He shows up.
The Leader’s Limits
No one would question who the stand-in leader was among that motley collection that Jesus pegged as Apostles. Even if Jesus had never treated him as such, Simon Peter easily emerged as the spokesman for the group. And for three roller-coaster years, Peter exuded a kind of confidence that, even when he said or did something, well, stupid, he was back on his emotional feet in minutes.
Yet with all his zeal and passion, all his strength and leadership, only one type of occasion would bring Peter to his knees – it was a revelation of exactly who this Jewish rabbi named Jesus was. It was one thing for Peter to see Jesus transfigured; he even offered some suggestions to God as to how to make the event even greater! But for Peter to really see an in-your-face understanding of who Jesus was, it had to take place in a world where Peter, not Jesus, was king.
And in his case, that meant on a fishing boat.
It’s the multiple occasions in scripture where Jesus says to cast on the other side of the boat after they had fished all night long, including this passage here, that brought Peter to his knees.
Peter had labored again and again at the point of his genius. If anybody could have pulled fish out of that lake it was him, and he was spent. Peter did a courtesy cast for Jesus and Jesus brought him to his knees with how easy all that was for Him.
Or the multiple occasions where they were navigating across the lake and feared for their lives, and Jesus showed up – once waking up and ordering the storm to be still, another walking on top of the storm – on both of those occasions, Peter again was amazed and humbled.
Think about this. The first time Jesus stilled the storm, Peter had already seen multiple physical healings, had listened in on the Sermon on the Mount, had seen his mother-in-law miraculously healed, had witnessed the long distance healing of the centurion’s son.
But when Jesus woke up from his nap, told the storm to take a hike, and calmed the wind and waves to nothing, Peter’s beating heart was still about to explode. What kind of man is this, that the wind and waves obey him?
According to Jesus, he was just somebody who believed God. And He showed that faith could do what expertise couldn’t.
Seriously? It took Peter that long to really understand who he was following?
Why then? Why now?
Because in that world – in the world of Peter’s supreme confidence and unquestioned authority – Jesus showed up and demonstrated He was greater than Peter’s greatest strength, knowledge, or ability.
Peter was humbled and broken and unworthy when he hauled in the load of fish because Jesus out fished the fisherman. He “out-businessed” the businessman. He out-sailed the sailor during the storm.
Back to Your Points of Genius
We will smile and nod and appreciate Jesus when we see him doing things in other people’s worlds, or even worlds or our weakness. We call that grace.
But when He takes us way past where our sources of confidence and strength lie – when He disturbs us with how limited our highest confidence areas really are next to His wisdom and power – then we get a grasp of how nothing we are and how extraordinary He is.
When you’re at the end of your talent – when you’ve laid it all out there and nothing works – and then with a simple cry to Jesus He shows how easy this is for Him – that’s when we find ourselves asking the same kinds of questions.
What kind of Man is this indeed?
He’s the kind that finds you at the end of your strength or wisdom and turns your hopeless situation into a miracle.
He’s the kind that loves you enough to let you experience the futility of your own strength or wisdom first.
He’s the kind that calls you to trust Him, regardless of your prognosis or prospects.
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