Sunday, January 25, 2015

Jesus walks on water

The sermon this morning was preached based on the popular passage of Jesus walking on water - Matthew 14:22-33.

As pastor preached, I soon had three questions:
1. Why did Jesus walk on water? Why didn't he just wait for the disciples to come back?
2. Why did Peter walk on water? There seem to be no purpose for him to do so.
3. Before he came walking on water, Jesus went up alone to the mountain to pray. I ask a most fundamental question, why did Jesus pray?

Why did Jesus walk on water?
The disciples were caught in a storm. Interestingly, Jesus had insisted that they get into the boat knowing that there will be a storm. He may have done it to teach them faith. Jesus then came walking on water in the midst of the storm - he was in the storm, in full control of it. The lesson is this - in our lives as Christians, we will find ourselves in life-storms, big and small. Be rest assured that Jesus is in them, and he is in control. Trust in him. You may not see him in the tumultuous times of your life, (the disciples thought they saw a ghost!) but he is there.

Why did Peter walk on water?
Really, why? There is no reason to. I checked the commentary I have and the author said, "If we take the narrative as historical, it is difficult to know what lay behind Peter’s request. It may be that Peter wanted to participate with Jesus in this miracle as he had in the preceding one [feeding of the five thousand]. Perhaps it was no more than impulsiveness or the desire to do something excitingly dangerous—to have a once-in-a-lifetime experience—which appealed to him. The impossible would be possible through the power of Jesus. Thus Peter’s request is based upon faith in Jesus and not upon an uncertainty about whether the apparition really was Jesus (this reality is assumed in the protasis of the condition)."1 In application, I see that we should actually walk the storms of life in faith with Jesus because he is right there with us!

Why did Jesus pray?
This is a very fundamental question but it came to me and I decided to put aside my pat answers and really think about why Jesus made it a point to pray. He is fully God himself and he knows what will happen. That leaves us with only one reason why he prayed - his communion with the Father. The Father, the Son and the Spirit are so close in the Trinitarian relationship that when Jesus became human and was apart, he often recluse himself to spend time in the relationship. And this is exactly what we his children are called to do - to abide in Jesus and to remain in him. This is why we pray, not for the asking, but the communion with God.

1 Donald A. Hagner, Matthew, Word Biblical Commentary

1 comment:

  1. Loved your take on these Pearlie.

    I wonder if Peter thought that Jesus would get in the boat? If not then maybe he just wanted to be with Jesus?