The Gospel of Matthew

This devotional is written by Rick Blyth. Rick

Matt 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 towards 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 worshipped 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 recognised Jesus, they sent word to all the surrounding country. People brought all who were ill to him 36 and begged him to let those who were ill just touch the edge of his cloak, and all who touched it were healed.

Reflection

Scene: a police station. A whiteboard, mug shots and coloured ribbons. A hard bitten detective, tie awry. "OK there's some guy saying a man walked on water. So what do we got?".

1. 5,000 men plus women and children were entertained to a vast picnic by a preacher and his entourage "as evening approached" when it was "already getting late" [ v15]. Say 1600 at this time of year round here.

2. "Immediately afterwards" - so say 1730 to allow some time for that feeding frenzy - the preacher sends his groupies off in a boat and guy goes off into the hills

3. "When evening came" say 1830-- the preacher was alone on the hills. Says he was "praying". The boat was at this time at least 1000 metres off shore and having a rough time of it.

4. "In the fourth watch of the night") the preacher was spotted "walking on the water". (We asked a history geek and he said this means between 0300 and 0600.)

OK Matthew's Gospel is not CSI Galilee. But, it is a testimony - not a poem or a novel . And what can we learn? The boat was having trouble as early as 1830 but Jesus came to them after 0300. It is not a crisis, like when he calmed the storm, but arguably he was aware of their plight - he even encouraged them to cross during a windy night - but he was so absorbed in prayer with the Father he could shut that out for over six hours. Does it seem like you are waiting for Jesus to come to you or answer? It could be that he will come, or answer a prayer, but just because that hasn't happened yet, doesn't mean that it won't in future or that he isn't aware. And you may end up playing a fantastic part in it, like walking on water yourself.

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