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 the differences in the 3 accounts of this story in the Bible and the importance of our own testimony. Today, we should pick up where we left off…
All three accounts have fear in common.
“When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear.” Matthew 14:26 NIV
“but when they saw him walking on the lake, they thought he was a ghost. They cried out, because they all saw him and were terrified.” Mark 6:49-50a NIV
“they saw Jesus approaching the boat, walking on the water; and they were frightened. “ John 6:19b NIV
Fear. Well, isn’t that something the disciples have in common with our current world. In its current state, it rolled over our world on the heels of an unknown disease. Fear loves the unknown, the new, and the imaginary. The unknown causes us to try to reason – which is good. Then our imagination fills in the gaps with our limited understanding and this is usually bad as we come to the wrong conclusions and develop fear.
“For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ” 2 Corinthians 10:3:5 NKJV
Casting down imaginations – this doesn’t mean casting down creativity and constructive imaginary play. The word imaginations here is when our imagination fills in the gaps with our limited understanding and we become fearful.
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear,
but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”
2 Timothy 1:7 NKJV
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7 NKJV
See that, take it to God and let peace guard your mind against fear. If only the disciples had this understand at the time when Jesus walked on water.
“But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” Matthew 14:27 NIV
”Immediately he spoke to them and said, “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” Mark 6:50b NIV
“But he said to them, “It is I; don’t be afraid.” John 6:20 NIV
I love Jesus’s response – it is so similar to his response to our fears. Having been human and having a human mind while growing up, I am sure he understood fear. So when we are afraid, His response isn’t: ‘didn’t I tell you not to be afraid?!’ But instead His response is “Take courage! Don’t be afraid.” He come from a position of understanding and compassion. But as we watch the current events, do we remember to take courage? When the evils happening around us do not make sense, do we will in the blanks and become fearful? Or do we remember ‘don’t be afraid’?
And finally I ask you – would you recognize Jesus? These men knew Jesus well; they ate and slept and lived together – don’t you think they might have recognized the way he holds himself? Maybe recognize some characteristic that made him unique?
When my son was a child, my grandfather dressed up as Santa and came over to visit. I played along that it was indeed Santa. For a brief moment my son acted afraid, but quickly determined he was safe. After Santa left, my son said he wasn’t afraid because he knew by the way Santa walked, that he was uncle (my brother)!!! Ha ha ha. I never noticed that my brother walked like my grandfather before that. So if my 4 year old son could recognize my brother (or actually my grandfather) who he didn’t see often, shouldn’t the disciples have recognized something about Jesus??
How well do we know Jesus? Will we recognize Him when He returns in the sky?
And you reason this out and tell me: but there was a storm and Jesus was walking on water, something that no one had ever seen done before!
Well, the disciples had been with Jesus in storms and yes Jesus was doing a new thing – will we recognize Him if he does a new thing in our world?
“See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” Isaiah 43:19 NIV
God is making a way and there will be a great spread of the gospel. The prodigals shall come home. Everyone will have heard the gospel and had an opportunity to repent from their evil ways and turn to Christ. The spring is swelling and coming in like a tidal wave.
We must keep our eyes focused on Jesus!!! We must recognize Him, we must hear Him and we must obey Him.
Take some time today to think on Jesus. Think on who He is. Make sure you keep your eyes on Him and that you know Him and will recognize Him.
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!
~Grace be with you ~ Love one another ~
~Thank you for reading ~ Be healthy and blessed ~
~ Watch and Pray ~