Summary: As Peter stepped boldly from the boat to walk on water, so we can step Boldly in our walk with Jesus
Scripture: Matthew 14: 21 - 30
A Walk on the Wild Side
It had been a long hot day. Not much ground had been covered as far as distance was concerned, but much had been accomplished. Every step of the way there had been people to talk too or move out of the way. The Men were tired of running interference for their leader, but it had to be done or they would not make their destination by nightfall.
Now it appeared the mass of people were behind them and it was getting dark. They needed to find a place to bed down for the night. Their feet were weary. They were weary and very distraught. Some walked with their head down, contemplating the days events. Others walked with their head down from sheer tiredness. Sometimes it was difficult to put one foot in front of the other, but somehow they found the strength.
Others walked in deep conversation with the man by their side. Discussing or arguing a fine point in law. Still others walked keeping a wary eye out for interlopers or soldiers. However, their leader walked alone. It was like an area of protection was drawn in a circle around him. An area that could not be violated. He needed to be alone. He needed to be kept isolated while he was deep in thought.
The look of wariness was plain to see on his face. Sorrow had made his eyes rest deep their sockets and the eyes looked blankly at the ground, unseeing yet not unaware. The fine lines around the eyes were rather prominent. There were bags under his eyes. His hair hung limp around his head and rested rather straggly on his shoulders. His lips, those smiling lips were now set in determination. His garment, once white, now was smudged from the dirt of the road. His dust covered feet kept plodding along the road.
Two steps behind him was a dark haired individual. His eyes were not focused on the road. His thoughts were not on deep theological matters. No, his eyes were constantly moving from his master to the area around the tight little group and then back to his master. It was as if he was the self-imposed guardian of the leader. His eyes did not waver in keeping their vigilance. Up, down, left, right. They never remained long on one area but kept shifting looking for anything out of the ordinary. Occasionally, he would look at the sky and a moment of concern would cross his face. He noted that not only was it getting late, but the weather was changing. A storm was coming. He did not want his master nor the group to be caught without shelter for the evening.
On the group plodded, not moving fast, but yet covering much ground. Finally, the leader stopped suddenly and looked up. Just ahead of him were a large group of people. Conversation stopped among the men behind him. The men looked with surprise at the multitude waiting ahead. They looked at their leader with questioning eyes.
The vast throng of people had hopeful looks in their eyes. There were the lame and sick.
There were lepers and blind people.
There were patricians and working class people.
There were those who walked only with assistance and still others that were carried on stretchers.
There were the sick and the sick in spirit. All of these people were now facing Jesus hoping that he had the cure they wanted, needed, and were so desperately seeking.
Jesus did not hesitate but began to move forward and mix with the people who obviously were waiting to speak with him. Peter hurried to his masters side and spoke into his ear, “Master you must make these people go home, it is late, they need to eat and get out of the upcoming storm.”
But Jesus was equally adamant. He told his disciples to gather their food together and feed the people. The disciples were astonished. They did not have enough food the feed the vast multitude, let alone themselves.
Jesus appeared unconcerned. He told them to gather their food together and canvas amongst the people and see what they had. The disciples were skeptical but did as they were bid. After awhile they came back to Jesus and showed him that all they were able to obtain were a few loaves of bread and some fish. Obviously not enough to feed thousands of people.
Jesus said it was enough. He bid the disciples to break the bread and divide up the fish and distribute it among the people. This they did and when they were finished they found they had a surplus of bread and fish. The disciples were astonished!
These men had been walking and talking with Jesus for months.