I’ve decided that I prefer Mark to Matthew. Now it’s between Luke and John and then I”ll read the winners again to choose number one, for me. This morning I picked up my Bible to spend some time comparing and as I flipped to Luke the page opened to chapter 5. I’ve been here already, but I wanted to read it again. Just a few seconds in and I’m off on a bunny trail looking up the word “flummoxed.” No, it’s not in the Bible, and “Yes,” it is a real word, and it’s been used regarding me.

Flummox – verb (used with object) – informal; to bewilder; confound; confuse

I was sitting across the table on our staff retreat this spring, and Richie Fike looked across the table into my eyes and said, “You flummox me. I am completely flummoxed.” I’ve been accused of being random many times, but that’s the first time I’ve flummoxed someone.

Back to my Bible. Right after the disciples have followed Jesus’ directions to go back and fish again, and they did, even thought they didn’t think they’d catch anything, and then they caught so many fish they called for help and still almost sank. Peter and the others are astounded, and Peter declares, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!”

Take a moment to picture the scene. They’re coming in from deep water, they’ve had to get help, the boats are nearly swamped and the activity had to be frantic, but controlled. They’re professional fishermen. When they get to a safe place and the activity begins to calm down, Peter has time to look at Jesus and reality smacks him in the face. I can totally understand his reaction. But Jesus … “Do not fear, from now on you will be catching men.” Flummoxed.

Can you imagine the rabbi’s hanging out in a cafe in some village, “Catch any men lately Joshua? I heard Isaac caught 3 last week down by Capernaum.” I don’t think it’s a old expression. It had to seem like an off the wall, random thing to say to an exhausted and amazed group of fisherman.

Flummoxed by Jesus. Has Jesus ever flummoxed you?


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