I spent months hustling at a prestigious public relations firm in downtown Los Angeles. Living the vision that I was on my way to the high life in a high rise.
But my soul felt twisted. Pulled. Like something sick and aching deep within.
Just a few months later, I cried late at night and prayer burst forth from my gut, “I just want to do special events for a church.” Who would hire me for that?
Two weeks later I landed a part-time gig in my church organizing large-scale community events.
My father was furious.
“How can you be so foolish?” He said. “You’re wasting your education.”
What my dad saw as a career blunder, I saw as a calling.
Podcast Episode: Living Faithfully Sometimes Looks Foolish
Foolish Faith of a Fisherman
Simon fished all night—casting nets and pulling. Casting and pulling. ALL NIGHT.
With nothing to show for it.
Simon and his business partners, James and John washed their nets after sunrise. We can imagine they were wet, exhausted, and frustrated.
All that work and no pay.
As they wash their nets, Jesus stood along the shore with crowds of people pushing around him to listen and be healed. So, Jesus stands into Simon’s boat to distance himself from the groupies and tells Simon to push him out away from the shore, like a floating pulpit.
After teaching the crowd, Jesus tells Simon to put out the nets in the deep water for a catch.
Now, Peter just spent all night casting and pulling nets—with nothing. Not even one fish to barbecue for breakfast—but, he followed the religious teacher’s instructions—beyond reason.
And the nets began to break.
Peter called over James and John, and they rowed out another boat to help pull in the nets—and both boats were so full of fish, they began to sink.
This is where we read our first verses for today.
Take a moment to breathe.
Set aside all distractions to focus your mind and heart completely on the Lord.
PRAY: Come, Holy Spirit, come. Wash me with Your Word.
8 When Simon Peter saw this (the catch), he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!” 9 For he and all his companions were astonished at the catch of fish they had taken, 10 and so were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, Simon’s partners.
Then Jesus said to Simon, “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will fish for people.” 11 So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything, and followed him.
What stuck out to you from these verses?
The men left everything and looked foolish.
They left their boats.
They left their miraculous catch.
They left their job to clean and mend the nets.
Peter, James, and John encountered a glimpse of who Jesus really is—one with power over the fish of the sea—and the only logical thing for them (which probably seemed foolish to most)—was to leave everything and follow Jesus.
Take a moment of silence and reflection.
What is something you might need to let go of—walk away from—so you can follow Jesus more fully?
Jesus continued to demonstrate who he is by what he did.
He healed a leper and told the man to follow the Mosaic law, the Jewish religious rules on worship and daily life—and to make an offering as a testimony to others.
And then Luke recorded Jesus proclaiming the forgiveness of sins to a paralytic. The religious leaders were aghast because “Who has the power to forgive sins, but God alone?” Jesus went further—and healed the man so he could walk, once again demonstrating that He has the power of God.
Jesus Chose The Foolish to Follow Him
Next Luke recorded Jesus calling Levi, the tax collector, to follow Him. Tax collectors were known as swindlers (spiritual fools), but Jesus chose him anyway.
Levi hosted a feast for Jesus and invited his tax collector sinner friends. This is where the next passage picks up.
Pay attention to how Jesus describes sinners and those who consider themselves righteous.
30 And the Pharisees and their scribes grumbled at his disciples, saying, “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?” 31 And Jesus answered them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. 32 I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.” 33 And they said to him, “The disciples of John fast often and offer prayers, and so do the disciples of the Pharisees, but yours eat and drink.” 34 And Jesus said to them, “Can you make wedding guests fast while the bridegroom is with them? 35 The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast in those days.” 36 He also told them a parable: “No one tears a piece from a new garment and puts it on an old garment. If he does, he will tear the new, and the piece from the new will not match the old. 37 And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. If he does, the new wine will burst the skins and it will be spilled, and the skins will be destroyed. 38 But new wine must be put into fresh wineskins. 39 And no one after drinking old wine desires new, for he says, ‘The old is good.’”
Take a moment to reflect and pray.
Is your heart more like an old garment, or new?
Talk to God about anything that is on your heart.
My Dad Saw God’s Faithfulness
My dad attended “Easter Under the Tent” a few years after I quit my corporate internship to join vocational ministry.
I coordinated the 10,000-attendee event, where hundreds walked forward to profess their faith in Christ.
After worship, dad he hugged me and said, “You chose well.”
Faithfulness may not look as large as a 10,000 person tent. Most days, my faithfulness now looks like typing on a computer from my home office or running out to sit in carpool.
Whatever faithfulness looks like in your “every day”— faithfulness is never foolish.