Monday, April 14, 2008

Matthew 14:28-33


28 Peter said to Him, ``Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.'' 29 And He said, ``Come!'' And Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But seeing the wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, ``Lord, save me!'' 31 Immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and took hold of him, and said* to him, ``You of little faith, why did you doubt?'' 32 When they got into the boat, the wind stopped. 33 And those who were in the boat worshiped Him, saying, ``You are certainly God's Son!''

So, Jesus comes to the rescue of His disciples after sending them out on a mission to cross the Sea of Galilee on a boat. He came to save them by walking on the water. Peter was caught up in the excitement of seeing Jesus walking on the water and said to Jesus, "Lord, if this is really you, then command me to come to you on the water." Jesus did just that. He commanded Peter to "Come!" to Him.

Now, here's the real key! Jesus is not the only one who ever walked on water, because Peter did, too! Peter walked on water! He actually did it! He got out of the boat, walked on water and came toward Jesus! This is incredible! BUT while walking on the water toward Jesus, Peter took His eyes off Jesus.

1-He became distracted by the wind and subsequent waves. 2-He became frightened. 3-He began to sink.

Now, Peter is in a crisis and had to scream out for Jesus to save him! Jesus then took hold of Peter and saved him from drowning. Then Jesus rebuked Peter for doubting Jesus-for losing his focus on following the command of Jesus to come to Him by walking on water-for being distracted-for not trusting (not faithing) Jesus fully to keep him walking.

Doesn't this sound familiar? We are called to do something for God, we then become distracted by all of the circumstances around us and stop trusting Jesus fully in our mission. Jesus wants us to trust Him fully and totally! To quote a friend of mine, "This 'walking with Jesus' is the toughest thing I've ever tried to do!" It's not the walking alongside Jesus that causes the trouble. It's the "trusting" Him fully that is the problem. I have spent most of my life "doing things my way for God", when He was simply waiting for me to trust His lead, not lead out and asking Him to bless it. But it's so easy to pay too much attention to life's circumstances around me and allow those things to distract me away from the trusting.

We have made fun of Peter for years for being so impatient and impetuous, but Peter actually walked on water! I want to trust Jesus enough to be able to "walk on water." I want to experience that kind of trusting relationship with Jesus. How about you?

Matthew 14:22-27


22 Immediately He made the disciples get into the boat and go ahead of Him to the other side, while He sent the crowds away. 23 After He had sent the crowds away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray; and when it was evening, He was there alone. 24 But the boat was already a long distance from the land, battered by the waves; for the wind was contrary . 25 And in the fourth watch of the night He came to them, walking on the sea. 26 When the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, ``It is a ghost!'' And they cried out in fear. 27 But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, ``Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.''

This is one of the most interesting snippets in the life of Jesus and His disciples. Jesus sends His men on a trip and while on this mission from their Lord troubles almost overcame them. Now, think about this. Jesus sent them on this boat ride to go to the other side of the Sea of Galilee. When you believe you are on a mission for God, there is a sense that all will work out alright. No great problems. I mean, Jesus certainly wants us to fulfill this mission, so nothing should be mission-threatening or life-threatening! Yet Jesus must have known exactly what He was doing in sending them on this mission, knowing that there would be trouble along the way. And, just like Jesus, He showed up in the midst of their life-threatening crisis!

Ever been on a mission that you knew was of God and yet all hell seemed to be breaking through around you? Wow, I have! In fact, just today hell seemed to be dumping on me or lobbing out all kinds of bombs and emotional hand-grenades in my path to discourage the mission I was on. I had only one sure solution to these devilish explosives. His name is Jesus. DON'T LEAVE HOME WITHOUT HIM!

Matthew 14:15-21


15 When it was evening, the disciples came to Him and said, ``This place is desolate and the hour is already late; so send the crowds away, that they may go into the villages and buy food for themselves.'' 16 But Jesus said to them, ``They do not need to go away; you give them something to eat!'' 17 They said* to Him, ``We have here only five loaves and two fish.'' 18 And He said, ``Bring them here to Me.'' 19 Ordering the people to sit down on the grass, He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up toward heaven, He blessed the food, and breaking the loaves He gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds, 20 and they all ate and were satisfied. They picked up what was left over of the broken pieces, twelve full baskets. 21 There were about five thousand men who ate, besides women and children.

Within this miracle is the classic progression of being on a mission for Jesus.

1-He gives the orders-"You give them something to eat."

2-Our response is normally to point out how little we have and how impossible it is to do what He is asking-"We only have 5 loaves and 2 fish."

3-Jesus gives the only answer to this impossibility-"Bring them to me."

4-Jesus takes the little bit and puts it into His hands-"He took the five loaves and two fish."

5-Jesus channels His work (His miracles) through His disciples-"He gave them to the disciples." And, "the disciples gave them to the crowds."

6-The people touched by Jesus through His disciples are always full and satisfied-"they all ate and were satisfied."

7-Even after the amazing miracle, there is still an overflow of blessing-"They picked up the leftover pieces. 12 baskets full."