Summary: So often we either sit like a knot on a log and refuse to seek God’s purpose for our lives or we do seek God’s purpose and realize just how difficult it can be to fulfill it.
Leaving the boat to get on board.
A. John the Baptist had just been beheaded by King Herod. Because of the rat race that was going on Jesus got his disciples in a boat and headed away for a little R and R. The crowds noticed Jesus and his disciples heading away from town, across the lake, so being the considerate people they were they all followed him on foot. When Jesus landed he noticed this whole crowd of people that were anxious to hear from him so he, being much friendlier than I may have been, took compassion on them and healed their sick.
The day had gone long and when it was really getting late the disciples really wanted to get some of that R and R they had come here for. They started telling Jesus that it was getting really late and that the people needed to be sent home so they could hit Mickey D’s before it closed. (They hadn’t started their “All-night” menu yet.) But Jesus, being the matter of fact kind of guy I love him to be, simply looked at them and said, “You feed them.” Now there were at least 5,000 men there so when you factor in women and children we are talking somewhere close to 2,000 people.
The disciples gave the same kind of reply you or I would have given and looked at Jesus as if he had lost a marble and said, “What? Are you kidding? It would take more than eight months worth of salary to feed all these people and all we have is some kids “Lunchable” and all it has in it are five bread loaves and two fish. Jesus, being cool as always, just told them to bring the food to him. When they did he blessed it and had them divide it out among the people. Close to 2,000 people ate that day and the disciples still picked up twelve baskets of left-overs.
The only way Ross Perot will ever become president of the United States would be if he could pull some kind of stunt like Jesus just did. Anyone who would provide people’s needs so effectively would be a shoo-in. It was the same with Jesus. The people started thinking Jesus must be a promised Prophet of some kind and they were ready to raise up an army to make him their king. Jesus didn’t like their idea of king and it severely shortchanged what he had come to Earth to accomplish so he forced his disciples, who probably like the idea of ruling, into a boat and go ahead of him. Jesus wanted to hang back to dismiss the crowd and do some praying.
That’s where today’s text picks up.
Jesus Walks on the Water
22Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. 23After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, 24but the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.
25During the fourth watch of the night Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 26When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. "It’s a ghost," they said, and cried out in fear.
27But Jesus immediately said to them: "Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid."