“My thoughts are not your thoughts, and your ways are not my ways… For as heaven is higher than earth, so my ways are higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:8–9).
When God chose David to be king, that seemed illogical, irrational. He wasn’t a warrior, he was a shepherd-boy. God’s ways are not our ways. God doesn’t always call and commission the best and the brightest. God doesn’t call the qualified. He qualifies the called.
He was untrained and under-educated. He was a Galilean fisherman, not a seminary graduate. Yet Jesus chose Peter to lead the first church and to preached at Pentecost when three-thousand souls were gloriously converted to Christianity (Acts 2:41).
When we first meet Peter in the Gospels, he and his brother, Andrew, were commercial fishermen. As Jesus “was walking along the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon (who is called Peter), and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the sea—for they were fishermen. ‘Follow me,’ he told them, ‘and I will make you fish for people’ ” (Matthew 4:18–20).
I don’t have anything against fishermen, but they weren’t trained in oratory, counseling, or organizational management and strategy. Evangelism, missiology, worship, and discipleship were foreign concepts to these guys. Their hands are rough, their muscles are hard, and they smelled like fish.
The next time Jesus interacted with Peter, the fishermen were on shore, washing and mending the nets after a long, fruitless night. “As the crowd was pressing in on Jesus to hear God’s word, he was standing by Lake Gennesaret. He saw two boats at the edge of the lake; the fishermen had left them and were washing their nets. He got into one of the boats, which belonged to Simon, and asked him to put out a little from the land. Then he sat down and was teaching the crowds from the boat” (Luke 5:1-3).
After teaching the crowd, Jesus turned to Peter, the skipper of the little boat and invited him to go fishing. “Put out into deep water and let down your nets for a catch” (Luke 5:4).
Jesus was a carpenter. He wasn’t an expert on the Galilean fishing trade. However, Peter had fished every inch of Galilee. His vast experience taught him that fishing then and there would be a waste of time and energy. “We’ve worked hard all night long and caught nothing!” (Luke 5:5). But when he faithfully obeyed the Master, “they caught a great number of fish, and their nets began to tear” (Luke 5:6). Peter’s response was humble, insightful, and right! “He fell at Jesus’s knees and said, ‘Go away from me, because I’m a sinful man, Lord!’ ” (Luke 5:8). That’s all he was… just a sinful man… like us.
So why did Jesus invite Peter to become the leading Apostle? Or why did God choose to adopt us as His children? Why?