Updated: Nov 4
Do you remember in the movie Aladdin when Aladdin asks Jasmine, “Do you trust me?”
They had only just met. They realized they were both looking for changes in their lives and they knew right away they would be friends. But not long after, trouble arises and the guards are after both of them. Aladdin, knowing the ins and outs of the streets of Agrabah, reached out his hand to Jasmine and said, “Do you trust me?” She hesitated, grabbed his hand, and said, “Yeeees…?” He then leads her to leap down in an impossible drop, starting the adventure that is the rest of the story.
Sometimes I feel like Jesus playfully asks us “Do you trust me?” with an adventurous smirk on his face. And if we’re smart, we’ll be brave enough to say even a hesitant, “yeeess?”
When Jesus first met Simon Peter, he started the encounter by basically saying, “I’m borrowing this,” and commandeered Simon’s fishing boat. He got in the boat and taught the crowds. When he finished his teaching, he turned his focus to Simon and told him to go back out with his boat. Simon was confused and probably very tired. He had just finished his workday, spending all day in the water and catching nothing. But Simon listened and did as Jesus said. When he finished, he had so many fish that his nets began to tear. Luke 5:1-11
You’ve probably heard this story in church before or read it on your own, and when we know a story so well, sometimes we forget to take a moment to just be in awe of Jesus. Imagine being Simon. You’re minding your own business and a man comes and tells you to do something crazy, and for some reason you oblige him. Your actual profession is fishing. You know every part of it in your sleep. You’ve been doing it forever. Then this man tells you to try something crazy and it actually works. Simon reacted to this miracle how you and I probably would: he feels completely unworthy and awestruck. I imagine Jesus chuckling warmly, and extending his hand out to Simon, saying, “Do you trust me?” And Simon hesitantly says, “Yeeees…” and follows him, leaving behind his job, his sense of security, his plans, and his friends and family. He becomes what Jesus calls a fisher of people.
Thank goodness he did. Jesus would later change Simon’s name to Peter, which would mean the rock of the church. Peter would be instrumental in spreading the good news of Jesus and his resurrection. All along the way, he experienced adventure after adventure, risk after risk, and miracle after miracle. He had the privilege of walking the earth with the Lord. He was allowed to experience all of this because he said yes to trusting and following Jesus.
Simon Peter’s life would have been much more steady and status quo if he politely declined Jesus’ invitation to “fish for people.” Life on earth with Jesus meant living simply, relying on the others for shelter, and constantly being on the move. Also, Jesus would have found a way to complete his mission without Peter. Jesus doesn’t need us. He wants to have a relationship with us, but he really doesn’t NEED us. If we say no to him, he will still complete his mission. He wants us to say yes to him, not because he needs us, but because he wants us to journey and experience life with him. He wants to create with us, not for us. He wants to have our lives so intertwined with him that we couldn't possibly untie it: we can’t find where we end and Jesus starts.
Jesus is reaching out his hand, asking you, “Do you trust me?” And if you say even a hesitant “Yeeeess?”... adventure awaits you.
Ashlee is a wife and SAHM, an eager follower of Jesus, and a chronically loud-laugher. She loves finding new ways to look at the Bible, in hopes to grow closer to Jesus and to find fresh ways to learn and teach others.
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Below are some books from author Rick Lawrence. His teachings have revolutionized how I read the Bible, and how I approach my relationship with Jesus.
Also included below is the Jesus Centered Bible that he helped create. This is an awesome Bible that highlights parts of the Old Testament where Jesus is referred to.
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