Sunday, October 30, 2016

No Advice

No Advice
October 31, 2016
John 21:6  "He said, 'Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.'  When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish."

Peter was a fisherman.  It is true that Peter eventually became one of the most prominent Christian evangelists of all time, but by trade, by training, he was a fisherman.  Back in Peter's time, there were no schools you could attend to learn your craft; you learned by apprenticeship most likely from your father.  Peter learned to fish when he was considered a youth, during his apprenticeship, and then honed his craft as he got older.  While I do not know what level of skill he ever achieved, I'd say you could call him a true professional at fishing.  He knew his stuff, his job.  Conversely, Jesus was trained as a carpenter.  Before Jesus ever healed someone, he honed his personal craft as a carpenter.  As a child, his father taught him about working with wood and I'd venture to guess, as soon as he could hold a hammer, he was driving nails.  Fishing and carpentry have very little in common.  In fact, you could probably say carpentry and fishing are almost completely opposite fields, with no crossover.

Despite the opposing fields of carpentry and fishing, Peter and Jesus started on an unique friendship that was centered around their belief and dedication to God.  A carpenter and a fisherman only talked about the Heavenly Father.  One day, Peter and a few fellow expert fisherman had fished all through the night and caught nothing.  fish at night with nets so the fish aren't spooked away by what is exposed by the daylight.  But daybreak came and it was highly improbable a fish was going to get caught (if a fish hadn't already been caught).  Enter Jesus, the expert carpenter.  From the shoreline, the carpenter called out to the fishermen who were finishing up and about to head in, calling it quits.  The carpenter advised the fisherman to try again, but this time to cast their net on the other side of the boat.  Pause and realize what just happened.  A carpenter was telling a group of expert fishermen to change their tactic and try it his way just one time.  I can imagine all the fishermen on the boat, secretly rolling their eyes regarding the advice from a carpenter.  I know very few experts, when among their colleagues, would heed the advice from someone else not in their field of study.  It goes against everything an expert stands for.

Peter, the expert fisherman, didn't need fishing advice from Jesus, the expert carpenter, but he took it anyway.  Jesus was right and they caught a record number of fish in just one cast.  This speaks to Peter's trust in the word of Jesus, not as a carpenter but as the miracle working God incarnate.  Peter wasn't trusting in the advice from a carpenter; he was trusting in the advice from the Word, God's own Son.  Maybe Jesus doesn't speak audibly to you today, but you've been given somewhere to go for advice, God's Word.  If you are without a fresh word, needing advice or not, you may consult your Bible.  Before you suggest you are an expert on anything, you should consult the Lord and then His Scriptures.  I don't care how advanced you are in your field, if there is a recommendation found in the Bible, and it goes against what you've learned in your modern day education, you should follow the advice of the Bible.

The Bible is full of wisdom that goes against the face of mainstream thought and worldly expert advice.  The world says to save your money, store it up and keep it all to yourself.  But the Word of God says to give and then it will be given to you, that you should store up for yourself treasures in Heaven.  The world says you should demand payment from those who owe you (emotionally, physically, and spiritually), but the Word says you should forgive and even turn the other cheek.  The World says you should try every deceitful tactic in order to win in a court of law and manipulate the jury, but the Word says you should give honest testimony, not covering up the truth.  The world says to divorce the spouse that you have fallen out of love with so you can follow your heart, but the Bible says you should be faithful to your spouse.

As you get to know His Word, you'll learn how to trust His advice even when it goes against your conventional training.

Don't take my word for it; look it up:  Pr 12:17, Matt 5:32, Matt 5:59, Matt 6:14, Matt 6:19-21, Matt 6:33, Lk 5:4, Lk 6:38, James 5:14-15

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