Summary: Jesus is a Walker. He walked on water to meet his disciples. He walked under the cross for you and me.
JESUS THE WALKER
Miracle,” and the experience of the miraculous is not confined to Biblical times and the first century; but it is present throughout our modern lives. We use the word, “miracle,” all the time.
You open the refrigerator door and you pull out a jar of Miracle Whip, and you spread the mayonnaise nice across your bread. Or you pull out a small, flat bag and put it into the microwave, and it puffs up and you have instant popcorn, and you say, “What a miracle! You go out to the garden and you pour Miracle Grow onto your plants and they flourish. A man for the first time plants a footprint on the moon, and everybody called it a miracle.
Many years ago penicillin was discovered and everyone called it a miracle drug. The smallpox vaccine was given to children throughout the whole earth and there is not one case of smallpox anywhere on the globe and everybody would agree that is a miracle. And when a vaccination or a cure is discovered for cancer, the headlines will shout for joy: “Miracle drug found for cancer!”
Coming to our gospel reading. The disciples were alone and afraid in the darkness of the night adrift on a bottomless sea... and then Jesus came. Let that thought sink in for a moment. Everything was wrong... and then Jesus came. Do you hear these four words? These four words divide all time and eternity. With these words God draws a line in the sand of every soul... and then Jesus came. The lepers gathered on the side of the road. They had been cast out by their families, abandoned by their friends. Alone they cried out in their pain... and then Jesus came. The blind man staggered down the road groping in his world of darkness begging for a morsel to sustain his life... and then Jesus came. The demoniac, a man with a mental illness raged out of control agonizing in his tortured mind... and then Jesus came. The woman taken in adultery cringed on the ground hiding her face. The people in the crowd picked up stones to put her to death... and then Jesus came. The disciples gathered in the upper room hiding behind locked doors for fear and then Jesus came.
Do you hear? Do you hear the power? Do you hear the story of life being told? He was sick, frightened, alone a victim of aids... and then Jesus came. She was strung out on drugs. Her life was going down the tube... and then Jesus came. The cancer had done its worst, the end was near, fear gripped his heart... and then Jesus came. The operation failed, her husband died. Her life was crumbling before her eyes... and then Jesus came. The burdens were too heavy. The pain was too great. The pills were already in her hand... and then Jesus came.
Do you hear? Do you understand what’s being said? The story of your life is being told. Oh, perhaps the details are not the same but the essentials are there. It’s the story of your life, your struggle, your hurt, your fear, your anxiety, your pain. It’s all there.
Imagine the millions and millions of lives across the centuries which tell the story of pain that suddenly went away, of wrong that was suddenly made right, of the blind that could suddenly see, of the deaf who could hear, of the lame who could walk, of the lepers who were cleansed, of the poor who had good news preached to them. Hear the story and know that the bottom line of every single one is spoken in the four words...and then Jesus came.
There are those who dismiss the story. They say it has no meaning and it lacks credibility because Jesus came to the disciples walking on water. Of course he did. Why not? Jesus walked across time and eternity. He walked through the muck and mire of our sins. He walked through the closed doors of our hardened hearts. He walked through the crumbling walls of our broken lives. He walked through the burning pain of Golgotha and beyond the closed and barred doors of death. Surely, he can walk on water. The incredible part of the story is this; so can you. Jesus invites you to walk on the water with him.
Simon Peter said, "Lord, if it is you, let me come to you." Jesus said, "Come, walk to me." Do you have the courage? Do you? You have to do something. Are you going to sit in that boat and ride the waves of fear and doubt and wonder for the rest of you life what would have happened if you only had the courage to step out and walk in the water?