Faith of Jesus Daily Devotional - Day 61
Matthew:14:22-36 Jesus Walks on the Water
Previous Context: devotion:Matthew:14:13-21 Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand
The miracle of the five loafs and this walking on water are part of a section Matthew has collected of miracles similar to the collection earlier of parables. This walking on water does appear to have happened immediately after the feeding however.
What is God doing?
"Jesus constrained his disciples to get into a ship, and to go before him unto the other side".
It almost seems as if it was planned right from the start, Jesus leaves Himself without a ride across the Sea unless to secure another boat else walk. The multitudes are sent away (which must have been difficult) and Jesus goes to quietly pray.
"He went up into a mountain apart to pray".
Jesus is shown to have frequently prayed. It might be asked what would Jesus the Son of God would have to pray for? This is assuming that His prayers were petitions for His needs or guidance. It could well be that His prayers where prayers of worship, of submission, of communion as most prayer should be. It is for certain that after being all that time eternally in the Father's immediate presence in Heaven that in this time on Earth His soul would long for the Father; what better way for now to regain that contact than through prayer. Prayer can also be thought as a means of tuning the heart into better receiving the broadcast channel of the Father, not that Jesus ever drifted out of frequency, that possibly because He so often prayed.
"Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea".
How often have we said that Jesus does only what He sees from the Father? Whether He had just seen the instruction from prayer or had known prior from previous communication, we must assume that He was walking as directed. This would mean that the Father desires that the disciples see this (and only the disciples).
What is man doing?
"When the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled".
It is natural that the sight of any human walking on water would be troubling; this reaction is to be expected. The sight of this challenges everything known of the laws of this universe and all reasonable possibility. The only way with our natural mind to explain it is just as crazy and impossible, but perhaps less threatening is that standing there port side is a spirit being or ghostly vision. It is fearful either way; interesting though how the human mind attempts to explain it.
"Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water".
I can not fathom what brought Peter to ask this. Logically, I suppose, one could rationalize that a ghost likely could not suspend a living man above water, but the son of man potentially could. Peter must not have been afraid of getting wet in order to prove this.
"Then Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water".
This is the point however we must seriously reconsider the popular consensus. The popular notion is that Peter's faith is holding him atop the water thus the teaching becomes the power of one's faith, when actually faith has not yet been discussed it is the power of our Lord's bidding. It was God's will that the Son be attested to in this manner, HIS will that Peter (and so the others) experience this glorification of the Son. Peter's faith is nothing but an odd suspicion (if even that) that something even more miraculous may be called for on this occasion.
"When he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid".
Peter is a salty well seasoned fisherman. He knows perhaps first hand the damage to a sail or perhaps raft possible by a gail such as this. It is not unreasonable for him to be fearful of such. The point of Jesus allowing this in the first place may not be to hold Peter up indefinitely, it may be to catch him. As much as you can verbally tell and teach a pupil, there is no better way to instruct a man than allow him to experience the concepts in all it's imposing depths.
"They that were in the ship came and worshipped him".
Why did they not worship Peter or Peter's faith if it were by his faith that he levitated? Why did the others not proceed to do the same now that the gail had ceased? Why is it not part of our Christian training to repeat the teaching if so today? Because the teaching that it was Peter's faith (and thereby a faith able to be mustered by any of us) is not so, it is the wishful thinking of those simply positively thinking. It was not Jesus' purpose to facilitate or draw out the miraculous faith with in us, it was to show how little our faith is compared to miraculous attestation of the Father towards HIS identified Son Jesus Christ, how our faith as little as it is can often sink us from what God better intends for us to experience. Faith in Jesus is always superior to faith in the positive.
What does this passage tell us about the about the commands and faith of Jesus that saints are to keep/guard?
"O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt"?
Doubt almost always out weighs faith. Doubt is typically logical and replicable, proven considerably by experience. Faith is seldom as logical, seldom even remotely experienced. Often faith is hope against all known odds and explanation. Most people do not operate in such a large scale faith as to be severely tested as this, we apply faith only in smaller less dangerous portions except when urgently pressed upon. This saintly faith however is a faith placed somewhere other however, it is a faith placed upon Jesus Christ son of the living God. Our faith is in His bidding. The performance to which we rely is placed upon His doing and His obedience and His Father's power. We do not simply stand by and watch, we call out to Him to bid us to experience/participate in the display of His awesome power as well.
Due worship should not be lost in all of this as well. It should rather become the center of any further consideration.
Next: devotion:Matthew:15:1-20 Clean and Unclean