Our scripture this week is Matthew 14:22-33. I usually remove the verse numbers to make reading easier (I think), but this week I’ll leave them in for comparison. Let me know what you think – numbers or no?
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.”
If the feeding of the five thousand wasn’t enough to convince the disciples, Jesus coming to them across the lake surely was. Verse 25 tells us “shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake”. This is something no one has ever seen before and it is being shown to them as a lesson and a blessing.
Jesus needed His followers to understand who He was in order to be able to carry on His work. They were real, practical people who had hoped for the coming of the Messiah for generations but scarcely dared to believe that He was among them. If He was the savior, why had He sought them out? They were, as one author puts it “nobodies from nowhere”.
This is how God has acted since the very beginning. He rarely chooses those in high positions to do His work. Perhaps it is because He wants us to choose Him of our own free will, rather than any pressure from those in power. God wants each of us to be in a personal relationship with Him and if it takes people telling us about Jesus walking on the water to get our attention, God is willing to do just that.
Loving Lord, we are thankful that You seek us out individually and offer us a connection with You. Let us accept Your forgiveness and share Your love with all the world. Amen.