Eyes on Christ (Part 2)

22 Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. 23 After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone, 24 and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.

25 Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear.

27 But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”

28 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”

29 “Come,” he said.

Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”

31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”

32 And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. 33 Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”

Matthew 14:22-33 NIV

Heavenly Father, please speak to us today. Help us be hearers of the word as well as doers of the word. In Jesus name we pray ~ Amen

There is so much in this passage – so many things to learn and think on. But today our priority is to learn to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus. Seek Him first. Look past the storms and troubles of this world, look past our fears and anxiety, look past anything trying to distract you, look past even the things that are good gifts from the father – Look at Jesus and don’t be distracted.

Yesterday we discussed how Jesus sent His disciples ahead in the boat, they ended up in trouble, and Jesus went to them. Jesus comes at the exact right time. He will perform miracles just to be there for us. And Jesus is praying for us and with us.

Let us read the two other witnesses versions of the story. As true in these days, was true in those days – every witness to something has a different understanding of what they saw and experienced. Matthew was there and his is the most detailed version. Mark had learned the stories from Peter. John was there, yet his version is the shortest and least detailed.

45 Immediately Jesus made his disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to Bethsaida, while he dismissed the crowd. 46 After leaving them, he went up on a mountainside to pray.

47 Later that night, the boat was in the middle of the lake, and he was alone on land. 48 He saw the disciples straining at the oars, because the wind was against them. Shortly before dawn he went out to them, walking on the lake. He was about to pass by them, 49 but when they saw him walking on the lake, they thought he was a ghost. They cried out, 50 because they all saw him and were terrified.

Immediately he spoke to them and said, “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” 51 Then he climbed into the boat with them, and the wind died down. They were completely amazed, 52 for they had not understood about the loaves; their hearts were hardened.

Mark 6:45-52 NIV

Mark leaves out the part about Peter walking on water as well. Mark also felt that Jesus was planning of walking right past them and wasn’t coming to help them. He also points out that they did not even understand the miracles that happened the moments before they got into the boat. Mind you, Mark wasn’t there. Mark was a student under Peter – and much of His account was written based on what he had learned from Peter.
The hours before the disciples all limbed into the boat, they had a huge hungry crowd listening to Jesus teach. This was the miracle of feeding the 5000 with just a few loaves and fishes.  Why did Jesus feed all those people? He was human, He understands hunger, and He was concerned with their wellbeing. I cannot imagine as Mark did, that Jesus did not care about their struggle and was going to walk on by them.  Maybe. But maybe this was just more evidence that the disciples still did not understand how greatly God (and Jesus) loves us and understands the full love of the loaves. 
I pray our hearts are not hardened. That we won’t walk with Jesus and miss out on the understanding of each wonderful thing He is trying to show us and He is doing for us.  We must keep focused on Him.

16 When evening came, his disciples went down to the lake, 17 where they got into a boat and set off across the lake for Capernaum. By now it was dark, and Jesus had not yet joined them. 18 A strong wind was blowing and the waters grew rough. 19 When they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus approaching the boat, walking on the water; and they were frightened. 20 But he said to them, “It is I; don’t be afraid.” 21 Then they were willing to take him into the boat, and immediately the boat reached the shore where they were heading.

22 The next day the crowd that had stayed on the opposite shore of the lake realized that only one boat had been there, and that Jesus had not entered it with his disciples, but that they had gone away alone.

John 6:16-22 NIV

John also leaves out the part of Peter walking on water. John doesn’t say Jesus was going to walk past them just like Matthew (maybe only Mark felt that way as he was telling this second hand?).  John doesn’t connect this with the miracle of the loaves. John did not mention the wind and the storm. But John adds a little detail no one else puts in their account of the story – John says that when Jesus entered the boat – they were somehow transported to the other side, immediately.
If Jesus can transport to the other side, why would he have bothered to walk across the lake?  If Jesus really meant to go past them and not join them couldn’t he had just made himself appear on the other side?

Walking on water was recorded three times in the Bible. Obviously, this event is extremely important and needed to be preserved for the future church (you and me). And although all three accounts are slightly different – all three have Jesus walking on the water and a second miracle in the same passage.
Matthew’s second miracle is Peter walking on water and the storm calming.
Mark’s second miracle is the wind calming.
And John’s second miracle is being transported to the other side of the lake instantly.
All of them were focused on Jesus – walking on the water. Therefore they make have differing accounts of what else happened as those other things happened in the peripheral while their focus was on Christ.

The gospel of Luke contains the story of the feeding of the 5000, but does not contain the story of Jesus walking on water.  Luke is a physician and companion of Paul.  Where Luke relieved his account of Jesus’s life seems to have been from interviews and discussions, many testimonies of the people who walked with Christ.  I do not know why they left off this miracle.  They must have been focused on other things.

Today, let us focus on Jesus. What does He have for us today?  Are we focused on Him and His miracles in our lives.  These miracles (maybe small, maybe big) are all critical parts of our testimony (and we are to overcome by the word of our testimony). Are we keeping record? Are we writing them down first hand as Matthew? Are we sharing with others what the Lord has done??? And what He is doing??  Let us take special note of every little and big miracle He has done and share them with others.
God is still alive and still doing miracles!  In our current world, we need to see His work happening.

Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!

~Grace be with you ~ Love one another ~
~Thank you for reading ~ Be healthy and blessed ~
~ Watch and Pray ~

**If you want to have a relationship with Jesus, then please know that I have put the “A, B, C’s of Salvation” in my introduction. Please click here to follow the link.**