Believe and Obey

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Responding Again

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Jesus Can’t Get a Break

The text this week is Matthew 14: 22-33.  This like last week, sees Jesus trying to get some alone time to recharge and to pray.  After the crowds from the feeding of the 5000 have gone, Jesus told the disciples to get in the boat and go to the other side of the sea.  Meanwhile, He  goes up the mountain for prayer. 

By morning the boys are in trouble and the boat has been battered by the elements.  Jesus, however, knows that they need help and miraculously walks on the water to assist.  Initially the disciples were afraid, as they thought Jesus was a ghost.  When they heard His voice, they became calmer.  It is at this point that Peter wants Jesus to command him to leave the boat.  Jesus simply says “come”.  Peter starts out fine but then panics and begins to sink, at which point Jesus reaches out and saves Peter, and when Jesus gets into the boat with them the winds dies down.  All those in the boat worshipped Him as the Son of God.

So Much Symbolism

This story fairly screams out its meaning, over and over.  When we are separated from Jesus, as when He was on the mountain and the disciples were in the boat, things get rough.  When Jesus comes to us, we get more comfortable.  When we try to walk on the water, so to speak, we sink.  Then Jesus saves us from sinking and when He joins us in the boat the sea gets calm.  Clearly when we separate ourselves from Jesus we get into trouble and the seas get rough and we live in doubt and fear.  When we let Jesus help us things get a whole lot better.

When we accept and trust Jesus, we let Him into our boats.  To continue the imagery, we need not fear, and our seas become calm.  This does not mean a  trouble-free existence here on earth, it didn’t for Jesus, but rather an eternal calm that our salvation is assured and our place in God’s kingdom is secure.

We cannot do anything eternally by ourselves.  To gain the kingdom we need to trust Jesus and accept His help.  This is not easy.  Our pride gets in the way.  The human drive for control makes submitting to God difficult.  Yet, Peter shows the way.  When he is desperate, he calls out for the Lord and Jesus answers.  Jesus will answer us as well.  We simply must believe, as Peter did.

So, the point here is to understand that the seas of our lives will get rough.  Yet, the only way to eternally calm those seas and not worry about our eternal destination is to trust that Jesus will be there when we need Him, and that He will take care of us and bring us home safely.  With this assurance in our back pocket, we can go forward in the world and proclaim the Kingdom of God.  That is by believing, we can confidently obey.

Praise Be to God

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