Summary: Shows how God takes the least, the lost and the losers and makes them winners.
“The Least, the Lost and the Loser”
March 11, 2012, Pastor Andy Grossman
John 21: 4-14
Why does Jesus ask such silly questions? Why does He ask questions he knows the answers to? Ever smash your finger with a hammer and have someone ask, “Did that hurt?” All sorts of retorts spring to mind in response to a question like that – most all of them wrong!
Jesus wasn’t asking a silly question like that. Sure He knew the answer to His question before He asked it. But He was asking it for THEIR benefit – not His own. It is important that we come to a realization that our efforts are ineffective; that our strength is inadequate; that our wisdom is weak. Why? Paul discovered the principle of power – was admitted weakness. He said,
“But he (God) said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9
The disciples were discouraged, depressed and defeated. Their world had been turned upside down. First, they were the least. They were the least of anyone in the religious community. They were fisherman. The Scribes and Pharisees and Sadducees were the religious ones of their day. But this Man called Jesus came along and convinced them to leave everything and follow Him. They did! For over three years they walked with Him. He didn’t call the theologians; He didn’t call the scholars; He didn’t call the Biblical experts. He called simple plain fisherman. And they were convinced that this One was the Messiah – the coming King. Jesus had pulled them up from being least – and had given them some of the greatest positions in the Kingdom.
But now the One they had pinned all their hopes on was humiliated; He was put on public display, and killed. They mocked Him in so many ways. Do you think that may have affected the disciples? I think it did –deeply. Sometimes it seems worse to taste success – because failure is much more bitter then. How cruel to be lifted up – only to be cast down. So they went back to what they knew – fishing.
Jesus had come back to life, and at this point He had appeared to them twice before. But still – they were reeling in their emotional pain and disappointment. Nothing had gone as they had thought or hoped. They were like ships adrift. They had no purpose; no direction; no Leader.
So Jesus comes to them and asks a silly question, “Friends, haven’t you any fish?” Sometimes, before power comes, we must admit our powerlessness.
A blind man confronted Jesus and Jesus asked, “What do you want me to do for you?” (Mark 10:50-52) Well, DUH! He wants to SEE!
Jesus knew that. But before God moves His hand He wants to be invited. Jesus said, “Ask – and you will receive.” James said, “You have not because you ask not.” John said, “Confess your sins – and God will forgive.” Jesus said, “Open the door – and I will come in.”
God loves to do the impossible – but He waits for three things from you. 1. To recognize it’s impossible. 2. To ask for the impossible. 3. Do the ridiculous thing Jesus asks you to do.
“Do you have any fish?” Jesus asks. “Nope!” They said. “Throw your net on the RIGHT side of the boat”, Jesus says. (Apparently the left was wrong.)
When they did – they received MORE that they had hoped or planned for.
Write this principle for success down – at least in your heart. “Before power comes, we must admit our powerlessness” You must understand that you are among the least – before you can become great. God doesn’t measure us by our accomplishments. He measures us by out faithfulness. In God’s value system the least is the greatest and the greatest will be the least. Who is our example? Is it the Scholar? Is it the Martyr? Is it the one of high position? No. It’s a little child. We need to become as a little child – understanding our weaknesses; depending totally on Jesus; trusting completely in Him.
The disciples – our greatest hero’s; our greatest examples, were once the least. If you are feeling like you are among the least – be encouraged. God is about to lift you up. I love this Scripture,
“He raises up the poor out of the dust, and lifts the needy out of the dunghill; that he may set him with princes, even with the princes of his people.”
Psalm 113:7-8 (KJV)
Ever feel like life has thrown you out on the manure pile of life? Ever get knocked down and tasted dust? I have. God loves to pull the poor from the dust; the sinner from the muck and mire; the needy from the manure pile. God loves to make the least – the greatest.