“Because you say so, I will . . . . .” Isn’t that the response we would love to hear from our children? Whether it makes sense to them at the time. Whether it goes against their first impulse. Whether it is a momentary inconvenience or sacrifice. Whether it seems like a waste of time and effort. But ”because you say so, I will.” There is a precedent in scripture which addresses this topic and I thought we might explore it a little. If you would care to read Luke 5: 1-11, you’ll get the background.
Jesus preached to a crowd along the shore and weary fishermen Simon Peter, James and John were in proximity to hear what Jesus had to say. The crowd grew and the crowd crowded Jesus so much that rather than preaching while up to his knees in water, he asked permission to get into Peter’s boat. The fishermen were done for the night and had a really unproductive trip. Exhausted, disappointed and ready for rest, as they finished cleaning their nets and prepping for the next outing they continued to hear this Rabbi, Jesus, teach.
All the while, Jesus’ teaching was planting a seed of faith. Then Jesus asks the improbable, the unthinkable from Peter. Let’s go fishing. Key point here. Evidently Peter was sufficiently intrigued and impressed by Jesus’ teaching that he was willing to do something that looked foolish and seemed like a terrible waste of time. “We aren’t deep sea fishermen Jesus. We fish at night here when it is cool and the fish rise to within the limited reach of our nets.” But, “because you say so.”
Of course it didn’t make any sense. God does things like that with us. Peter’s willingness to obey had nothing to do with Jesus’ knowledge of fishing. It had everything to do with who Jesus was. There was something so captivating and impressive about Jesus that Peter was willing to take a single faith step, allow God’s faithfulness to enter his life and see where it led. As the story continues, the catch was so enormous it about sank Peter’s boat. Not just that. James and John, Peter’s fishing partners, headed out to assist with the catch and they about sank too.
A simple step of faith. Going fishing. Was it blind faith? Probably not. All three of these men heard Jesus teach and were to some extent drawn in to want to experience more of him. They listened. They heard. They acted on a little bit of information and this ultimately led to an even greater step of faith by them. They “left everything and followed him” (Jesus). Certainly the big catch of fish was a “clincher,” but it all started with a single small step of faith in the one who spoke captivating truths.
Basically all of the early Jesus followers were acting on faith and the confidence they had in the person of Jesus. Let’s be real here. They had doubts. Nobody who initially followed Jesus believed he was the Son of God. They weren’t quite sure who he was other than he was a compelling teacher, told good stories and had the ability to heal. But they listened. They followed. They didn’t have to know it all or believe he was the Son of God before they began to follow. They followed the man closely and began to learn the truths and came to know Jesus was “as advertised.”
How about you? Are you close enough in following Jesus to where the trajectory of your life has shifted? Is there a step of faith you might proceed to make that will help vault you to even greater confidence in Jesus? “Because you say so, I will “ . . . isn’t that what Jesus longs to hear from each of us? Think About It.