You know that kind of smile that stretches so wide that your cheeks rise to meet your eyeballs and your lips travel to meet your ears? It’s a whopper-grin – all teeth and gums. Can you remember a time you wore a smile like that?
When I was a little girl, I rode a train with my grandmother to the city. It was a super big deal because it was my first train ride. Imagine my distress when the conductor punched my ticket, then told me I had a dirty neck. Embarrassing. I had thought I was doing an okay job in that department, but the conductor persisted.
“Why, look!” he exclaimed. “There’s no way you washed behind your ear. There’s something stuck back there.”
And with that, he reached behind my ear and pulled out a coin.
I was whopper-grinning. It was magical. You know I spent the rest of that trip checking behind my ears for more coins.
I suspect that the conductor was also delighted. What fun he must have had charming and enchanting children.
There’s a 4-verse interaction with Jesus that makes me wonder if he isn’t just a little like that conductor. It happens fast, like a half-gainer off the high dive – surprise, splash, and dazzle in a hurry.
After a rapid-fire conversation between Jesus and Peter about whether or not Jesus is required to pay the Temple tax, Jesus sends Peter off to round up the tax money,
Go thou to the sea, cast a hook, and take up the fish that first cometh up; and when thou hast opened his mouth, thou shalt find a coin: that take, and give unto them for Me and thee.
I imagine Peter, head cocked to one side, half-whopper-grinning, “Holy Mackerel! Seriously, Jesus?”
I imagine Jesus, full-whopper-grinning, “Seriously, Peter.”
It might be that everything you need to know about how Jesus feels about you is right here.
Go thou to the sea . . . Jesus could have pulled a coin out of Peter’s ear, but He chooses to involve and empower Peter in the process.
cast a hook, and take up the fish that first cometh up . . . He asks Peter to fish. Peter is a fisherman. Jesus invites him to act in an ordinary way within his ordinary sphere, with the promise that he will experience the extraordinary.
and when thou hast opened his mouth, thou shalt find a coin . . . Jesus is all about delighting Peter. Reeling in a fish with a coin on its tongue feels playful and whimsical. It is sure to produce a whopper-grin.
that take, and give unto them for Me and thee . . . Jesus is clear that He is Team Peter. The coin covers the tax for both of them – Me and thee, a package deal.
Jesus is on your team – a package deal.
He loves to
show up in your ordinary,
involve you in His plans,
and delight you.
He is delighted when His good plans for you to experience His extraordinary in the middle of your ordinary generate a whopper-grin.
See you next week.