99 Problems

Yeah it’s a JAY-Z song with an amazing beat and off-limits lyrics but I came across something in the Bible the other day that reminded me of it.

Sometimes we’re unwittingly obsessed with sin and its separating effect in our relationships with God and people, it exacts a toll subconsciously. From the sin/problem/addiction to its consequences, to denial/blame-shifting/attempts-at-our-own-morality, it picks up steam and drags us with it.

Peter was a fisherman.
The crowd is pressing Jesus into the water and he sees Peter’s boat and jumps in it to preach. Then the carpenter asks the fisherman to go fishing and tells him how to do it. This results in a miraculous catch and Peter falls at his feet crying “Oh, Lord, please leave me—I’m too much of a sinner to be around you.”

True that.

Over the next few years Peter hears Jesus challenge how he views himself and the world. One time Jesus tells a story about sheep, an unusual story that wasn’t exactly what was being taught in the schools of religious thought, but fascinating to a fisherman.

There are 100 sheep. One becomes lost. The shepherd leaves the 99 in the pen and goes seeking the lost one. He find it and restores it.

Many christians..

It’s not an accident that the story of the prodigal follows this one. Now when you’ve spent your entire life thinking about (or denying) your own sin like Peter had it becomes 1 huge problem. So why isn’t Jesus treating Peter’s sin like it’s a huge hairy deal?

Because Jesus had a plan for saving Peter from it.
Sin IS a problem, but Jesus has other bigger problems. He’s got 99 problems actually. 

The whole sheep story was directed at the 99 religious people who were upset that Jesus was spending time with known sinners at all. We see something here we should pay close attention to.

Peter is shocked off of his comfortable thinking track (we can take comfort in that we are familiar with our own problems), by Jesus’ unexpected response to what the real problem is…

I think Jesus has 99 problems but a sinner ain’t one…

An unexpected wall..
There might be 3 stages of a person’s walk with Jesus.

1. Lost
2. 1 of the 99
3. Search and Rescue
Would you mind stopping for a moment, identifying which stage you are in and asking yourself if maybe it’s time to move down a step on the list?

I’d recommend the video pod as I didn’t want to take too much time to spin this out in the blog. You won’t regret it. (Or maybe you will:)


3 thoughts on “99 Problems

  1. Wow, I’m sorry I missed this live on Sunday. You asked us to figure out where we stand, what if honestly I think I’m not sure. I think I’m in the 99, but there are times I’m ready for search and rescue. It is frustrating to me to see progress and talk to others about opening up to Christ, to be so excited about encouraging others and seeing what God does in our lives. Then, something will occur and I back off, will withdraw or I’m unsure of how or what to do, so I return to doing what I know. I guess I’m more in the 99……I don’t know or haven’t fully understood how to get to that next step. I don’t give up, I still listen and I learn, it might not appear that way, but I’m glad Jesus and the Venue community are always here. Keep doing life together. Thank You.


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