Weekly Encouragement - This is Weird

Posted on by YFC Seattle

By Warren Mainard - CORE, Youth Ministry Network, & Internship Director

"...go to the sea and cast a hook and take the first fish that comes up, and when you open its mouth you will find a shekel. Take that and give it to them for me and for yourself.” - Matthew 17:27

"This is weird…” Surely, Peter must have been thinking something along those lines when he found himself “fishing for shekels” in the Sea of Galilee.  It was time to pay the two drachma tax and Peter and Jesus didn’t have the money.  After a brief lesson from Jesus about how disciples of Jesus should still pay taxes, Jesus sends Peter off to get some cash… in the strangest of places!  Jesus could have turned a stone into a shekel, like water into wine.  Jesus could have told Peter to return to his fishing roots and work until he had enough to pay the taxes.  Instead, Jesus tells Peter to cast a hook into the sea and check inside the mouth of the first fish that he caught.  Inside the mouth of this fish, Peter would find a shekel, a silver coin worth 4 drachmas, the exact amount they needed.

Why would Jesus ask Peter to do something so weird?

If you have been following Jesus closely for a while, you may be able to relate.  Sometimes, when we have exhausted all of our options, we find ourselves desperately asking Jesus to step in and show us what to do in an impossible situation.  Often, Jesus will answer our prayers through providing an unexpected display of His sovereign power.  Other times, He may guide us to make some practical steps of wisdom to fix our situation.  Every once in a while, Jesus may ask you to do something that just seems weird.  When He does, roll with it… Jesus is up to something.

Why does Jesus ask us to do weird things?

Like Peter, you may find yourself doing something that seems odd, or out of place, because you sense that Jesus is leading you in that direction.  It may not be “normal," but it will always be God-honoring.  Jesus asks us to do “weird" things for three reasons:

  1. To test our faith: Whether it was spitting in the dirt and rubbing mud on a man’s eyes or telling Peter to fish on the other side of the boat, Jesus always had a reason for the “weird” things He asked of people.  One was to test our faith.  When we sense God leading us to do something outside of our comfort zone or normal routine, it can feel weird, but it is in those moments that we often say, “I don’t know what you are doing right now Lord, but I will trust you.”  As our obedience to God grows, so too does our “comfort zone.”  The more we follow God, things that once may have seemed “weird,” like sharing our faith or practicing hospitality to a stranger may become common place.
  2. To uniquely reveal Himself:  When God asks you to do something “weird,” you become keenly aware of God’s movement in your life.  Even if you are unsure how things will turn out, you are proceeding and watching with eyes open for God’s Spirit.  When God moves and does something through the “weird” step of obedience, you recognize Him as the source and not just the natural outcome of a typical order of events.
  3. To give you a story to tell: “Weird” God-moments make great stories.  There is a reason why this bizarre story is in the Bible… people love to hear stories that make them shake their head, raise their eye brows and say, “Wow, I didn’t see that coming!”  When God does something unique and out of the ordinary in your life, tell others! He loves to be glorified through our stories!

“Weird” God-moments may not happen every day, but if you are walking closely with Jesus and listening to His Spirit, do not be surprised if He calls you to obey Him in an abnormal way.  When He does, just roll with it, God will grow your faith, show Himself to you in a unique way and give you a whale of a story to tell!

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