Bible Text: Luke 5:1-11 | Preacher: Rev. Mark Buetow | Series: 2015
Let’s face it. People just aren’t impressed with velociraptors and Tyrannosaurus Rex anymore. We need bigger and scarier dinosaurs, like Indominus Rex! It’s the same with God. People always want more and impressive proofs that God exists or that He is doing things. They want some big show that proves to them that they can believe. Wind that smashes rocks! Now that’s awesome! But the Lord was not in the wind. An earthquake to shake a mountain! But the Lord was not in the earthquake. A roaring, all-consuming fire! But the Lord was not in the fire. Then, a still, small voice. A whisper… And the Lord spoke to Elijah. And He speaks to you. His Word. The Word of God is not impressive in the eyes of the world. “The Word of God became flesh and dwelt among us.” The Word was a Baby! A baby isn’t scary! A baby doesn’t look like the awesome power of the Almighty! That baby grows up. He preaches. He speaks the Word. “Arise. Be saved. You are forgiven.” That’s not impressive! If God is not gonna look awesome, we’ll show Him! Thorns. Nails. Cross. Blood. Death. And that shook the world. Because the Son of God died. The Word-made-flesh looked about as unimpressive as you could think of. But the Lord wasn’t in the wind or the earthquake or the fire. He was in the flesh, dead on the tree. For you. For the world.
We aren’t impressed with THAT God. Neither was Peter. “Well, Lord, we—you know, the professional fishermen, DID fish all night and didn’t catch a single thing. But, well, at your Word, I suppose…” And then fish! Lots of fish! Loads of fish! More fish than one boat can handle! More fish than two boats can handle! Sinking boats full of fish! And a fisherman on his knees repenting of his sinfulness. And the Lord’s voice. Not wind. Not thunder. Not fire. A voice. Words. “Do not be afraid. From now on you will catch men.” And Peter will do that with the Word. That’s what catches us. That’s what snags us and brings us in. Wind and fire won’t do it. But the Word of God does. Guy in a robe. Speaks words. Pours water. The voice of God: “I baptize you…” Preacher. Opens his mouth. Speaks words. The voice of God: “I forgive you all your sins…” Altar. Bread. Wine. Jesus’ Words. Body. Blood. Forgiveness. The promise you will be raised up on the Last Day. The Wind of God would blow you away. The Fire of God would burn you to a crisp. But the Voice, the Word, saves you. Forgives you. Declares you to be a child of God. It’s the Word that ordains a preacher and through which preacher the Lord speaks His Word and saves sinners. That’s how God operates. But we want a bigger and better and flashier God who is Indominus Rex! Instead we get Rex Iudaeorum. The King of the Jews. Crucified and risen for sinners. The Savior.
You want a mighty, flashy, rock-cracking, windy God? You want a God who will right in front of your very eyes do something awesome to show you He’s real? Repent! That’s not the God you have and it’s not the God you need. You need the God who has a voice. The God who speaks to you. The God whose voice is a voice of promise and comfort. A baptizing, absolving, Body and Blood-delivering voice of forgiveness, life and salvation. And let’s be honest. Such a voice, such words, such A Word, is not impressive like giant dinosaurs or burning mountains. But would you really want a God who can eat you up in one bite or vaporize you with a puff of His breath? That’s the kind of God you can expect apart from Jesus. Without Jesus, God IS in the wind and the earthquake and the fire and He’s blowing things up! But in Christ, the God you have is a talking God, a God who speaks, a God whose voice creates and redeems and makes holy. In Christ, you have the God who is like you, who takes away your sins, who conquers death, who gives you life. In Christ you have the Word of God. In the flesh. Speaking promises to you. In that God, that Jesus, you have a reason for the hope that is in you. And that is a God whose still small voice is enough even to drown out the world and speak peace and life to you. And with that still small voice, the voice of His Word, that God brings all His power and might together to save you forever. In the Name of Jesus.