Text: Luke 5:1-11 | Listen to Message
Where Are You Putting Your “But”?
How do you like it when people who have no idea what they’re talking about tell you how to do your job? Don’t you just love getting unsolicited advice?
In Luke 5, Jesus the carpenter tells Peter the fisherman how to do his job: “Put out into the deep and led down your nets in the middle of the day.”
This is absurd, and Peter knows it! You can’t fish with big, heavy nets in broad daylight! These fish that spook easily will see the nets and simply swim in the opposite direction. Taking Jesus’ advice would be a complete waste of time.
So Peter voices his objection: “Master, we worked hard all night and took nothing!” In other words, “Jesus, we failed to catch anything under good conditions on this particular night, so there’s no reason to attempt this again under impossible conditions – especially not when we’re already exhausted.”
“But,” Peter says, “At your word, I will let down the nets.”
You probably know the rest of the story: the same Jesus who commanded the impossible also controls the impossible. The same Jesus who tells Peter, “Let down your nets,” also tells the fish, “Go!” And Peter has the catch of a lifetime!
Listen. We all have doubts. We all have objections to what God commands sometimes. But the difference between a nominal Christian and a true disciple is where they put their “but.”
The nominal Christian will think, “Lord, I hear what you’re saying, BUT, I object because…
- I don’t have time for that.”
- That’s too costly.”
- I’m working on something else more important right now.”
- I’m not wired that way.”
- You don’t understand how much that person has hurt me.”
- That’s not what everyone else around me is doing.”
- I simply don’t feel like it.”
Here’s the thing: Being a true disciple doesn’t eliminate these kinds of objections and challenges to obedience. But true disciples of Jesus put their “buts” in a different place. Instead of saying, “Lord, I hear your word BUT I object,” they say, “Lord, I object, BUT, I hear your word. And I will obey you in faith, trusting that you will control in my life what you have also commanded.”