Matthew 14:22 (NIV) Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd.
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Compelled by the Master
Sometimes our understanding of Jesus Christ is incomplete. We never imagine him constraining us, compelling us, forcing us to go beyond our faith limits. But that’s exactly what’s going on in this passage. Why did He have to compel the disciples to board the boat?
These are some possible reasons:
- They had just experienced a powerful miracle of feeding several thousands of people on two small fishes and 5 loaves of bread. They might have wanted to stay a little longer hanging out with the crowds…and basking in the glory of the miracle.
- They didn’t want to go by themselves without their Master.
- Some of them were experienced fishermen. They probably thought it was not wise to get on the water at that time of the day.
Whatever the reasons were, Boss ordered them to hop onto the boat and leave for Gennesaret. Sometimes God will task us to do things that we are not comfortable with or that are outright risky.
Sometimes God will task us to do things that we are not comfortable with or that are outright risky.
What reasons do you give for hesitating to do the Lord’s will?
- Enjoying things the way they are. “God’s at work here why go somewhere else?”
- You want to feel and be sure that God is and will be with you.
- Your guts and experience shows that there might be disaster ahead of you.
Regardless if your excuses, do you feel the Lord compelling you to do something or go somewhere?
It didn’t take the disciples long before they faced the challenge of the storm. I don’t know what might have been going through their minds. May be they wondered why the Lord had sent them and yet he stayed behind. Why did the Lord send the disciples alone? He is the Master Teacher. Did he know that the storm was coming? Of course He did. Did He care about the safety of the disciples? Yes; more than they did themselves.
Priority of Personal Time with God
(Matthew 14:23 NIV) After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray.Later that night, he was there alone,
Jesus needed uninterrupted personal time with the Father. He wanted to demonstrate to them the importance of personal prayer.
What is the place of prayer in your life? How can you prioritize prayer in your life?
I often ask myself, “If I were Jesus–had the power that he had–would I have bothered to pray?” God desires our communion with Him first and foremost.
God desires our communion with Him first and foremost.
Buffeted by the Storms
(Matthew 14:24 NIV) and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.
Jesus prayed deep into the night. Meanwhile the disciples were in the midst of the lake struggling with the storm. The Bible doesn’t tell us what their feelings were but one can be sure that:
- They feared for their lives–who wouldn’t in such circumstances?
- They might have wondered why their Master had forced them to take this treacherous journey.
- They felt stuck–couldn’t go forward and yet it was not possible to go back to where they had been.
Have you ever found yourself stuck and start second guessing your act of faith and obedience to the Lord? And you wonder whether your old life wasn’t better after all. Have you ever, in your journey of faith thought of calling it quits? I don’t mean giving up on your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, but playing it safe, stopping doing what the Lord told do?
Late in the night at about 4.00am Jesus went to the disciples walking on water unaffected by the very storms that buffeted the disciples’ boat. Jesus has power over creation. He is Lord over the storms that are tossing you about.
He is Lord over the storms
When the disciples saw Jesus they shouted, “ghost!” When in the storms, it is easy to have a distorted view of reality. Jesus was quick to give them reassurance. “I Am, ” He told them. He is God and Lord over the storm. And when we trust His word, we too can rise above the challenges that we encounter. We only have to keep our eyes fixed on Him. When our faith falters–as it will sometimes do, we need to cry out to Him to save us.
From Fear and Desperation to Wonder and Worship
When Jesus (and Peter) got into the boat the wind died down. It was the end of the lesson. If the disciples had not grasped the lesson about the feeding of thousands of people (see Mark 6:52), they would not forget this experience. It was a visual/experiential study aid that would leave an impression of a lifetime. And yes, they got it: They worshiped Him saying, “Truly, you are the Son of God’
That’s the purpose of every trial that you encounter; that you and others will acknowledge the supremacy of God in all situations!