Archive for July 3rd, 2010

Matthew 14

Matthew 14 comes next in our chronological read of the New Testament.  Herod is in charge and has John the Baptist in jail for calling him out on having taken his brother’s wife as his own.  John was not afraid of anyone and spoke truth even to the leadership.  He had said “it is not lawful for you to have her”.  Of course that didn’t go well, particularly with Herodias, since she had become wife of the most powerful man of that day. So in response to a promise Herod made to his step daughter, John the Baptist is beheaded.  The moral of the story is to be careful what you promise to do as it may go far beyond what you expect.  Herod didn’t want to do it, but because he had said he would, he did it anyway.  Jesus is told of the death of John and goes away to a desolate place by himself.  Sometimes we think that Jesus was all God, but He too was man.  He had emotion and experienced the pain of John’s death.  The crowds find him and spent the rest of that day with him. Evening is approaching and the disciples want to send the people away to go and buy some food.  But Jesus says “you give them something to eat”.  Can you imagine 5000 men and their families in the middle of nowhere with nothing to eat and receiving the direction to go feed them.  The disciples check around and come up with five loaves and two fish.  That is going to go a long way huh?  Actually yes – in the hands of Jesus.  He “looked up to heaven and said a blessing” and the broke the break and sent the disciples out to feed the crowd.  They all eat to fullness and when the leftovers are picked up there are twelve baskets full of the leftovers.  OK – what is the math on this one?  We start with 5 loaves and two fish – feed 5000 men and their families – definitely upward of 10,000 and some say more likely 20,000 people – and we come back with more than we started with?  That doesn’t compute does it?  Only in the math of our Savior.  Only when Jesus is in charge.  He has the ability to take what we give Him, multiply it far beyond what seems normal, and make a huge impact with that gift.  That is what He wants to do as we offer up to Him our gifts, talents, abilities and offerings.  He will take it and make it far more than we can even imagine.

The chapter goes on to describe one of the most important stories about Peter.  The disciples are in a boat heading across the sea to the other side.  Jesus “came to them, walking on the sea”.  Can you imagine their surprise – here comes Jesus walking on the water? That is a miracle in itself.  But Peter calls out and asks if he can come to Jesus and is told to come.  “Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus”.  Did you catch that?  Peter walks on the water too.  Key to that happening was that he had to be willing to get out of the boat.  For many of us, we would never take that step.  We would not leave the safety and comfort of the boat to stick our toes in the water.  But Peter focuses on Jesus and just gets out and begins to walk to the Lord.   Are you willing to get out of the boat to follow Jesus?  Or are you all about safety and convenience and want to deal with Jesus on your terms in your way?  As Peter approached he began to become afraid and sink.  Jesus reaches out to grab his hand and then says “o you of little faith, why did you doubt”?  That is the question we all need to answer.  Why do we doubt Jesus?  Why do we struggle with our faith?  Because we let the circumstances around us cause us to lose focus on the One who can do all things and cause us to focus on ourselves and our inability to do much of anything on our own.  Walking on water is not about you or me – it is about Him.  Alone we can’t possibly do it.  With Jesus as our focus we can’t possibly fail.  We have to get plugged in to the source of power and life that circumstances don’t impact.  We have to get our eyes on the Savior, our faith in His power, and then walk in obedience to His direction.  That is how we walk on water.  Are you living that way?

%d bloggers like this: