Summary: A perspective on Matthew 14: 22-33. Like Peter, we are so often distracted by the voice and terrors of our own storm in life. At times we feel we are sinking, about to loose everything about us.
Matthew 14: 22-33
LISTEN TO GOD AND WALK ON WATER
Written exams and tests are generally run like a competition. The teacher at school or the lecturer at university or your employer sets the work before you, and you know that at the end of it there will be a small prize or a pat on the back to someone who has done well or come first. Then as a result the teacher divides students into groups of either fast or slow learners, or bright and not so bright, or sharks and dolphins all according to their ability. All the students in the class know why they are in a particular group like the dolphin group or the sharks.
Many people hate exams and tests. They don’t do well at them and often feel depressed because of their low score or achievement. They get stressed as soon as they hear of a coming exam or test. They feel that somehow it isn’t fair no matter how much work they put in they will always only just pass or for some just fail. For some people exams and tests reinforce in them that they are low achievers and failures. Exams and tests can provide a disturbing storm in some people’s life or at least a sinking feeling.
Modern teaching theory has finally realised through research that people have different learning styles. Some people do well by simply reading a book and answering questions about what they have read. For these people, they would probably benefit from exams and tests. It’s their style. Other people need to explore, and discover information to learn. Again, others need to use their hands to construct or speak it out aloud to retain information and learn.
Field trips instead of the classroom environment are a great benefit to some students. Teachers who understand this are wise and respond accordingly. They find other ways, other means of assessment besides the written exams and test to find out what the student has learnt. Teachers need to know what their students have learnt so that they can adjust their teaching methods to help each student to achieve their best or come to understand a certain point. As a result both teacher and students can experience personal achievement and satisfaction with themselves. They are the winners. Notice though, how the focus has changed away from the performing student to the performing teacher who is responsible in providing the results.
That was an introduction to simply say that God is very much like a wise teacher and we are his students. God’s purpose for all of us is to make us useful disciples, to be witnesses of his goodness in our life, and to draw us into the kingdom of heaven where we will love God and one another. It sounds like more than one purpose, but in essence they are all the same. We all have something to learn from God, some more than others. Since he knows each one of us by name he knows how to get through to us. He knows what we need and how we learn. In the end we will praise and worship God.
What lesson did the disciples learn while they were in a storm on Lake Galilee? Were they on an educational field trip?
One evening the disciples were far away from Jesus their Lord. They were in a boat crossing Lake Galilee. They’ve had a busy day helping Jesus feeding the 5000. It was another miracle. Jesus used 5 loaves and 2 fish to feed 5000 men and not counting the women and children. I wonder what went through the disciples’ minds as they crossed the lake. Did they reflect over the miracle that Jesus performed?
The disciples had been with Jesus for quite awhile now. They had seen Jesus perform many miracles. Jesus healed the sick, he made the blind to see, raised the dead to life, fed the hungry, and taught his disciples many things. Then Jesus asked his disciples to feed the hungry crowd of 5000 and more. No doubt, Jesus expected them to put into practice what they had learnt from him. Could they do it? In the end Jesus took charge and produced the necessary miracle. Just as well we can rely on Jesus.
When we look at the disciples we can see ourselves. We usually have two perspectives of ourselves. Firstly, we look upon ourselves as an individual disciple of Jesus, and secondly, as a congregation of disciples belonging to Jesus Christ. Like the disciples, we have heard the Word of God many times; attended Bible studies; heard personal testimonies of how God has worked wonders in their life; sung words of praise to God; and fed on the body and blood of Jesus Christ. All of this for our eternal blessing, and to become blessing bearers like Christ.