Summary: Looking at one of Jesus’ most stressful day and understand how, in the midst of unexpected news, demands and storms, He is able to find peace and composure.
Experiencing the Peace of Jesus - Jesus Under Pressure
It’s Sunday. Sundays are always busy days for me. Sundays are always early days for me. Today promised to be no exception.
With a full slate of activities planned, I got up early and drove to church. There was not much traffic at 6:00 A.M. I had the roads to myself. The orange of dawn had yet to break the nighttime spell on the summer’s black sky. The twilight sparkled. Cool air wafted.
I parked outside my church office and took a minute to enjoy the quietude. I set down my books, picked up my coffee, and leaned against the car.
It was calm. But calm has a way of becoming chaos.
With a briefcase in one hand and a coffee cup in the other, I walked and whistled across the parking lot to the office door. To enter my office, I had to get past the sleeping dog of the twentieth century: the alarm system. I set down my briefcase and unlocked the door. I picked up my briefcase and walked in.
The code box on the wail was flashing a red light.
The siren pounced on me like a mountain lion. I thought we were under nuclear attack. Floodlights flash flooded the hallway, and red strobes turned. I kept pushing buttons, and the alarm kept blaring. You’d have thought it was a breakout at Alcatraz.
My pulse raced, my forehead moistened, and my situation was desperate. I raced down the hall to my office, pulled open the lap drawer of my desk, and found the phone number of the alarm company.
The next twenty minutes were loud, demanding, confusing, and aggravating. I was speaking to technicians I couldn’t see about equipment I didn’t understand trying to understand words I couldn’t hear.
Ever happened to you? When was the last time your life went from calm to chaos in half a minute? ("How many examples would you like?" you ask.) When was the last time you found yourself pushing buttons that didn’t respond, struggling with instructions you couldn’t hear, or operating a system you didn’t understand?
Ever had that kind of an experience? When was the last time your life went from calm to chaos in a few minutes? When was the last time you wish things will just calm down when you push some simple buttons, and that peace can just simply fills your heart.
Life can go from calm to chaos in matters of moments. No warnings. No announcements. No preparation. Sept 11 is one such day. Where can you find real peace?
It all depends on one factor – do you know the code? If I know the code, there peace would have triumphed. This month, we’re going to look into Jesus’ life and experience the peace that He has.
We’re going to look at one of the most pressure-packed 24-hour day in the life of Jesus. Matt 14:12-14 >> Feeding of 5000 >> 14:22-27
1. UNEXPECTED NEWS - death of someone close, religious rulers threatening
Jesus begins the morning by hearing about the death of John the Baptist – his cousin, his forerunner, co-worker and friend. This man is close to Jesus’ heart, because at the launch of His ministry, he is probably the man who came closer to understanding Jesus than any other. He is now beheaded, and the authorities were not happy with those who preached about the Kingdom.
7 As they departed, Jesus began to say to the multitudes concerning John: "What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind? 8 But what did you go out to see? A man clothed in soft garments? Indeed, those who wear soft clothing are in kings’ houses. 9 But what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I say to you, and more than a prophet. 10 For this is he of whom it is written:
’Behold, I send My messenger before Your face,
Who will prepare Your way before You.’
11 "Assuredly, I say to you, among those born of women there has not risen one greater than John the Baptist; but he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. NKJV
You want to know how Jesus feels - imagine losing someone who knows you better than anyone else. And that closest friend did not just die, he was murdered. Imagine the sorrow of having a best friend died in the hands of someone evil. That’s how the day began for Jesus. It wasn’t a good start.
Moreover, Luke 9:9 tells us: 9But Herod said, "I beheaded John. Who, then, is this I hear such things about?" And he tried to see him.
Jesus was next in line… Why does Herod want to see him? We really do not know. But it does look like a threat than a social visit. So with John’s life taken and his own life threatened, Jesus wants to get away for a while.