Everyday Obedience Dan Hudson
The everyday humdrum of life can seem like the last place we'd see Jesus at work. But just as the weary fishermen obeyed Jesus and cast their empty nets again after a night of disappointment, our faithfulness to God in the small things positions us to receive the abundance of His miraculous grace in the everyday.
1) Jesus works through everyday ordinary situations
There are two groups of people in the story. Those with time on their hands, and those who are working!
The crowd heard great teaching, but four fisherman on the back of a tough nightshift are the ones who encountered Jesus' miraculous power. We need to remind ourselves that Jesus works through everyday jobs, tasks, home life. Don’t bemoan your lack of time and tiredness - Jesus can meet with you.
2) Jesus works through everyday ordinary relationships.
The story includes two sets of brothers, who happen to also be work colleagues. They’d grown up together, worked together. No doubt it felt mundane and repetitive at times. All of these relationships change as they met Jesus.
God loves to work through relationships. Friends, families. He wants to use you to share his love with your parents, children and siblings and friends and colleagues.
3) Jesus works through the everyday obedience of the one
When Jesus wants something done he speaks to an individual. Simon on this occasion. In obeying Jesus, Simon positions himself to receive remarkable grace in the miraculous catch of fish. We learn some important principles of obedience in this story:
a) Obedience is learned in stages
“Put out a little” (v3) “Put out into deeper water” (v4)
Maturity as a Christian comes through doing the small stuff well. Baptism in water, loving other Christans, learning to give etc.
When we’re faithful with the small, God invites us into the more.
b) Obedience challenges my mind
A carpenter preacher called Jesus tells an experienced fisherman how to catch fish. Simon clearly struggled! “Lord we’ve worked hard all night…”
Following Jesus challenges our minds. In 1 Cor 1, the message of the cross is described as “foolishness to those who are perishing”- it offend the mind. The gifts of the Spirit can cause some people to say “you’re out of your mind!” (1 Cor 14)
If we’re to mature through obedience we must prepare for our minds to struggle.
c) Obedience is necessary because Christ’s Lordship is at stake in my life
Simon passes the test! “Because you say so, we will let down the nets for a catch”
If Jesus is truly Lord, he is Lord of all. Work, home, marriage, relationships. When I obey, I worship.
d) Obedience positions me to receive grace
Through Simon’s obedience a platform is created for Jesus to do a miracle. An overwhelming boat-sinking catch of fish.
Obedience doesn’t produce grace, it positions us for grace. In fact Simon became acutely aware of his own inadequacy “I am a sinful man”.
Grace comes to sinful people like us because of Jesus. When we obey him we position ourselves to receive.
Jesus is “The One”. He obeyed the Father’s every command in everyday ordinary life. He “became obedient to death, even death on a cross” He sweat blood in Gethsemane saying “Not my will but yours”. The grace that came as a result is magnificent. Raised to life on the third day, ascended and exalted to God’s right hand. Pouring out the forgiveness of sins and the gift of the Spirit on his people. He obedience produces my blessing. I have power to obey in the everyday ordinary because Jesus has paved the way for me.
- Tired, busy people. Do you think of your workplace or home as a place where Jesus is at work? How does this story help us think differently about our everyday lives?
- Simple obedience. Simon did the simple stuff well. What does everyday obedience look like for you?
- Mental challenge: can you think of a time when God spoke to you about doing something that you initially resisted? What helped you choose to obey?
- Grace. Jesus doesn’t give Simon a fish, but a ridiculous amount of fish. What does this teach us about God’s dealings with us when we make ourselves available to him?