FEAR AND WONDER
Everlasting God, sometimes I feel torn between where I’ve been and where I’m going. Show me the way, I pray.
Read Matthew 14:22–36
Jesus Walks on the Water
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.”
34 When they had crossed over, they landed at Gennesaret. 35 And when the men of that place recognized Jesus, they sent word to all the surrounding country. People brought all their sick to him 36 and begged him to let the sick just touch the edge of his cloak, and all who touched it were healed.
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectDo you have any doubts today? Don’t be ashamed: bring them out into the open as you prepare to spend time with God.
Today, we are looking back at this event after the cross and resurrection, but we watch the disciples as they continue to piece together the full significance of all Jesus had taught them and of the miracles they had seen so far. In their fear, Jesus reassures them with ‘It is I’ (v 27), echoing the ‘I AM WHO I AM’ spoken to Moses (Exodus 3:14). Their words of worship use language that begins to explore the full identity of Jesus (v 33), later repeated by Peter in Matthew 16:16: Jesus is the Son of God.
A friend recently showed me a painting by Father Sieger Köder which depicts the moment Peter begins to sink. The focus is on Peter’s hands: he is clasping the hands of Jesus with both of his. Behind them, the disciples look on open-mouthed. At the time, it reflected exactly how I felt: I was desperate, trying to cling on to Jesus with all my strength. And yet here in the passage Jesus is the one taking a firm hold of Peter’s hands (v 31). Jesus rescues him and gets him back to the boat (v 32). This is the God whose perfect love casts out fear.
… He brought me out into a broad place; he rescued me, because he delighted in me’ (Psalm 18:16,19, ESV). Respond to the wonder of being saved by Jesus.
Lord Jesus, how wonderful it is to know that you are for me and not against me. When I am struggling and reach out to you, you are already reaching out to me. Thank you Lord.
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