I have friends who really love to fish. So, in their honor I’ve got to tell you this great fisherman story. Actually, I have to credit Ravi Zacharias with it – that’s where I heard it. It seems that two men were out fishing in separate boats. And the one was watched the other with this growing curiosity because he’d catch a fish, he’d keep it, then he’d catch another fish and he’d throw that one away. And he just kept doing this, you know, catch after catch. The really strange part was that it was always the big ones that he threw away. What kind of fisherman is this? Well, finally, the man watching all of that couldn’t contain his curiosity, so he called out the obvious question, “How come you’re throwing away the big ones?” The man answered, “Oh, because I only have an eight-inch frying pan!” Really?
I’m Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about “Prepared For Something Small.”
I guess if small is what you’re prepared for, then small is all you get. Well, that’s what the people of Nazareth found out when Jesus came home. In Mark 6:1, our word for today from the Word of God, the Bible says, “Jesus went to His hometown…He began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard Him were amazed.”
“‘Where did this man get these things?’ they asked. ‘What’s this wisdom that has been given Him, and that He even does miracles? Isn’t this the carpenter? Isn’t this Mary’s son and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas, and Simon?’…And they took offense at Him. Jesus said to them, ‘Only in His hometown, among His relatives and in His own house, is a prophet without honor.’ He could not do any miracles there, except lay His hands on a few sick people and heal them. And He was amazed at their lack of faith.” The King James Version says it pretty bluntly, “He could do no mighty work there because of their unbelief.” Wow!
Let me tell you, it’s a pretty scary incident for those of us who are church folks. Because the people who knew the most about Jesus back then expected the least and they got it! They had a very small frying pan, and it wasn’t big enough for the kinds of things Jesus could do. Nazareth was the one place Jesus went where they had to settle for the natural and miss the supernatural. And the scary part is that today we’re Nazareth. We Bible-believers, we’re the ones who know a lot about Jesus, just like His neighbors in Nazareth. We analyze things just like they did. But those kinds of people are often so close, so used to Jesus, they put Him in a box, limiting Him to work the way they’ve always seen Him work before, or the way they think He ought to work. I’ll tell you, He will not stay in our box.
Maybe our being “practical” and “sensible” – our avoidance of anything that might seem “radical” or “different” – is why so many Christians have so little power. We don’t pray for God-sized interventions; we don’t make plans that are so big they will fail if God isn’t in them. We go to Bible studies, church services, and youth groups. We argue theology, prophecy, and spiritual gifts. We get involved in a merry-go-round of Christian activities, but we don’t expect the supernatural! And we’re mired, therefore, in good old spiritual mediocrity.
In reality, the more we learn about Jesus, the more we should believe Him for! Don’t you think? We serve, we worship an awesome, all-powerful, death-crushing Savior. He’s a miracle-worker! But we miss His miracles because we don’t believe Him for them! It’s time to get a bigger frying pan and let the Lord Christ fill it with something bigger than you ever dreamed!