Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Matthew 14 - Part 3


Read Matthew 14

Do you ever think about the words not recorded in the Bible?  Jesus sent the disciples out on the boat headed to the other side of the lake without him.  He went up a mountain to be alone.  He sent the very recently fed crowd home.

What did he tell his disciples? 

I’ll catch the next boat.

I’ll go around.

Meet me on the other side.

Y’all come back and get me in the morning.

I will walk out to where you are later.

Good riddance.

Who knows?  He told them to get in the boat and head to the other side.  Who were the disciples to question the directions of their Master?

He had just told them to feed a crowd of more than 5000 with 5 loaves and 2 fish and they did, and they had leftovers.  So, if he told them to get in the boat and head to the other side, who would question him?

 We find the disciples in the boat in the middle of some rough wind and water not too long before dawn.  They say that it’s darkest just before the dawn.  I’m not sure who said that first, but it could have been one of these men on this boat.

The disciples are a good way from the shore they just left and a good way from where they are headed.  And they see someone walking towards them on top of the water.  They are having what we call cognitive dissonance.  What they are seeing and what they know of the world are not adding up. They are frightened.  They think a ghost is headed their way. 

They cried out in fear.  Jesus replied, “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”

Don’t worry guys, it’s me.

What did Jesus say?  It is I.  I am.  In Greek he said egō eimi.  We have seen the power of these words before.

If the miracle of feeding the huge crowd was not enough, now Jesus walked on the water towards the boat.  One disciple—Peter—might have been paying attention as Jesus performed his miracle through the disciples as they fed the 5000.  Peter might have had some comprehension as to what it was to be a part of a miracle, and he asked Jesus to call him out of the boat onto the water so that he could walk to Jesus.

It would be Peter who would profess Jesus as the Christ, the Son of the Living God in chapter 16.  Peter stepped out of the boat and started walking towards his Master.  Peter was walking on the water.

Peter was walking on the water!

Peter had seen the miracles of Jesus.  He had been a part of the feeding of the 5000.  He had been a part of a miracle.  He had not been an observer or spectator.  He was a part of the miracle itself.

Now his Master had said come and Peter was walking on the water. He was walking on the water.  How cool is that?

Then Peter noticed the storm.  The storm had been there all along, but now it got his attention.  What had his attention before?  Jesus.

When Peter’s eyes were fixed on Jesus, he walked on water. 

When he noticed the storm is when he began to sink.  Then Peter cried out to Jesus, Lord save me!

Jesus reached out and saved him immediately, but while he was pulling Peter out of the water, he spoke these words.

You of little faith.  Why did you doubt?

Here is Tom’s redux for the current century.  You had it!  You did it!  Why did you stop keeping your eyes on me and focus on the storm?

Jesus got Peter and himself into the boat and the storm calmed down.  What else could the disciples do but worship him?

All had seen two incredible sights.  Jesus walked on the water all the way from the shore and even Peter walked on top of the water for a little while.  What sights to behold!

I make note of a simple point here.  Eleven men watched everything from the boat.  Only Peter stepped out of the boat—not of his own initiative—but when his Master called.  Peter did ask his Master to call him, but we don’t see him stepping out of the boat until he did.

Eleven men watched from the boat.  Eleven watched from the boat.  We should see the power of faith at work in Peter and we should also see how doubt debilitates faith, but let us not second guess Peter.  He got out of the boat and was walking towards Jesus while the others watched.

When human nature took over and Peter began to sink, Jesus was right there to save him.

Yes, Jesus chastised him.  You of little faith.  Why did you doubt?  We don’t see him saying anything to the other disciples.

Have you ever seen a good coach chew out one of his players?  He doesn’t ridicule him as so many wannabe coaches do.  He challenges him to see his mistake and the correction needed.  The player has no doubt he is being chewed out, but he knows exactly what he was taught to do, what he did, and what was expected the next time.

You of little faith.  Why did you doubt?

You had it!  You were so close! 

Do you know who you never see the coach chewing out?  The guys standing on the sidelines, that’s who.  The guys who never tried out, that’s who. 

The coach coaches—sometimes very passionately—those who are playing the game.  The coach knows when a player has something more in him.

You of little faith.  Why did you doubt?

The players who never get out of the boat don’t get the same coaching.  Jesus was training disciples not spectators.  Jesus wants us to get out of the boat when he calls us.

Better to take a few steps and start to sink that just remain in the safety of the boat.  Jesus is with you and will save you.

Get out of the boat when he calls.




No comments:

Post a Comment