Daily D – Matthew 17:27
“But, so we won’t offend them, go to the sea, cast in a fishhook, and take the first fish that you catch. When you open its mouth you’ll find a coin. Take it and give it to them for me and you.”
MATTHEW 17:27 (CSB)
Peter was a professional fisherman. If he lived today, he would have a Saturday morning fishing show where he would catch fish on every cast and sell lures, apparel, and boats. In his mind, he was probably the best fisherman ever.
His opinion of his elite status shifted when he met Jesus. Jesus was a better fisherman than him. We see this first in Luke 5. After fishing all night without success, Jesus tells Peter to set out for deep water and to let down his nets for a catch.
There are two problems here. First, they had fished all night without success. They were tired. They had already cleaned their nets and put away their gear.
Second, fish dive deep when the hot sun shines down on the water. Fishing with a net works best at night when fish are nearer to the surface. This was not the time to fish.
Peter reluctantly, perhaps begrudgingly, said, “But if you say so, I’ll let down the nets,” (verse 5). It took Peter, James, and John to haul in the largest catch of fish ever. They caught so many fish that their boats began to sink (verse 7).
Jesus is the best fisherman ever.
Now on this occasion, a question came up about taxes. Jesus told Peter to “cast in a fishhook.” This is the only time fishing by casting a hook into the water is mentioned in the New Testament. This is not how Peter fished. However, learning from his previous experience with the World’s Best Fisherman, he did what he was told.
Let’s pause to reflect a moment. In Luke 5, Peter did what Jesus said. It worked out splendidly, better than he could have ever imagined possible. With that success in mind, he obeyed Jesus’ instructions about fishing with a hook and line.
Living with wisdom and power is a matter of knowing what Jesus says to do and doing it.
Jesus forecast what would happen when Peter did what he said on this occasion. He would catch a fish. In the fish’s mouth would be a coin equal to the amount necessary to pay the tax for both Jesus and Peter.
Jesus is the best fisherman ever.
It is no insult to admit that Jesus is better than you. You and I may be better than ten thousand other people in one respect or another. Jesus is better than both of us put together. He’s the best, period.
The best thing about Jesus being the best at everything? We do not have to compete. Instead, we get to be on his team. We get to fish with Jesus the Best Fisherman Ever. We get to build with Jesus the Best Carpenter Ever. We get to eat with Jesus the best Fish and Chips Proprietor Ever.
Jesus wants you to do something today. It may seem odd or uncomfortable or completely out of order in your area of expertise. Trust him. He’s better than you. Trust him. He wants you to be better than you. He wants you to catch more, build better, and dine satisfactorily.
Hanging out with The Best Ever is always the best kind of adventure. Today is a good day to experience living with wisdom and power. Ask Jesus now what he wants. Ask him throughout the day when you are not entirely sure what to do next. Do whatever he tells you. Enjoy more productivity and effectiveness than you have ever known.
I will live with wisdom and power by listening to Jesus and doing what he says.
Our Father, thank you for including us in your adventures. What do you want to do today? How do you want us to participate? We are ready to work with you in today’s great adventure. Amen.
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Jonah 4:2, 3 So he complained to the Lord about it: “Didn’t I say before I left home that you would do this, Lord? That is why I ran away to Tarshish! I knew that you are a merciful and compassionate God, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. You are eager to turn back from destroying people. Just kill me now, Lord! I’d rather be dead than alive if what I predicted will not happen.”
Joel 2:12, 13 That is why the Lord says, “Turn to me now, while there is time. Give me your hearts. Come with fasting, weeping, and mourning. Don’t tear your clothing in your grief, but tear your hearts instead.” Return to the Lord your God, for he is merciful and compassionate, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. He is eager to relent and not punish.”
Hosea 14:8, 9 “O Israel, stay away from idols! I am the one who answers your prayers and cares for you. I am like a tree that is always green; all your fruit comes from me.” Let those who are wise understand these things. Let those with discernment listen carefully. The paths of the Lord are true and right, and righteous people live by walking in them. But in those paths sinners stumble and fall.”