Talk about making Jesus King and Walking on the water

As the crowds consistently gather, it’s no surprise that some would start to consider Jesus as king.
Matthew 14:22-33, Mark 6:45-52, John 6:14-21

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One Reply to “Talk about making Jesus King and Walking on the water”

  1. These three accounts of Jesus walking on water provide different details (not opposing, just different). Matthew and Mark begin with the word “immediately” to indicate there was a problem, a crisis to deal with. John suggests there is a problem because the people there want to force Jesus to become their king–something he was not about to allow, but at the same time, didn’t want this to become the focus of his teaching, so he slips away. With thousands of people there and the day drawing to an end, it’s easy to see how this could play out. Darkness falls quickly when there are few artificial lights.

    Matthew and Mark also indicate Jesus told them to get into the boat; John says the disciples went to get into the boat. In any case, they parted company. Jesus wanted time alone. Perhaps it was because the disciples didn’t understand the feeding of the 5,000, the miracle that must have simply confused them as seen in Mark 6:52, “for they had not understood about the loaves; their hearts were hardened.” Jesus doesn’t appear angry at them, but I suppose it was better for them to have some space than to discuss the confusion in the moment.

    The NIV Study Bible notes point out that this is one of three times in Matthew where he writes about Jesus withdrawing to pray by himself. It is interesting indeed. The complexity of God existing in the form of man as Jesus in hard to grasp in the best of circumstances. Jesus needs to teach his disciples by example, they can best learn by watching how he handles difficult situations. They, of course, didn’t know what was about to happen next.

    They get in the boat and begin to make their way across the lake and see what they think is a ghost. Mark includes, “He saw the disciples straining at the oars,” so he went to see them. All agree he was walking on the water to come out to them. There is no other explanation, no See-Doos to ride out to the boat! They were frightened, but Jesus calms them.

    Matthew adds an interaction with Peter. This is a bit odd, but given Peter’s seemingly binary personality, it’s not out of the question. Matthew 14:28, “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.” Jesus encourages him to walk with him, but Peter is too human, still not 100% convinced. I’m reading Nabeel Qureshi’s, Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus, now and in one part he talks about the difference between being 99% and 100% convinced that God is real. The span of only 1% is huge! Like some enormous logarithmic function, the ultimate span of 1% is perhaps the most important step we will ever make. Jesus says, “Come,” implying what Peter already knew, it was in fact Jesus.

    Jesus words are hard, but not harsh, “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?” Wow. I wonder how many times that verse has played in my life. “Why did you doubt?” Jesus assures us he has prepared a place for us. He has done all that needs to be done. Our task is to believe 100% and with that belief, to go make disciples of all nations.

    The miracles were not done yet. When Jesus climbs in the boat, the storm stops, the waves become calm, they easily make their way to their destination. This is the miracle I pray for quite often. The waves of storms that pass through our lives are troubling at best. That we should expect troubles does little to provide comfort, but knowing that Jesus is willing and able to climb into the boat with us, to calm the storm for us, is a peace that we need to learn to hold onto. I truly pray for this insight, seeing Jesus climbing into my boat daily. There I will find true rest.

    It’s all about the 1% difference, the move from 99- to 100-percent. That may be a quantum leap for everyone, but once that gap is spanned, there is no turning back. Troubles will still come and our humanness will be evident in many ways, but I have complete confidence that God is there for us in the end.

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