October 14th, 2006
Yet another message about faith! Do you really have to take the water-walking test if you want to be a follower of Jesus? The answer is both yes and no. You’ll probably never actually have to get out of a boat and step out across the waves, but there will be times in your life when as a follower of Jesus you will be challenged to take courageous steps that will scare you witless. When such a challenge comes, you’ll have to decide whether to get out of the boat and risk sinking, together with public embarrassment, or to stay safely in the boat and miss what might prove to be the opportunity of a lifetime.
Matthew’s Account of the Good News — Chapter 14
14:1 At that time Herod the tetrarch heard news about Jesus 14:2 and said to his servants, “This is John the Baptist, come back to life. That is why he has special powers.” 14:3 Herod had arrested John, tied him up and put him in prison because of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife. 14:4 John had told him, “It is illegal for you to have her.” 14:5 Herod would have executed him if he had not been afraid of the crowd, because they considered John to be a prophet. 14:6 But on Herod’s birthday Herodias’s daughter danced for them and pleased Herod. 14:7 He promised on oath to give her anything she asked for. 14:8 Prompted by her mother she said, “Give me here on a platter the head of John the Baptist.”
14:9 The king was sorry, but because he had taken an oath and because of his guests, he ordered that the deed be done. 14:10 John was beheaded in the prison, 14:11 his head was brought on a platter and given to the young lady, and she took it to her mother. 14:12 John’s disciples came and took the body, and buried it, then went to tell Jesus. 14:13 When Jesus heard the news he headed off to a deserted place apart in a boat. The crowds found out and followed him on foot from the towns.
14:14 Jesus, seeing the large crowd, had compassion on them and healed their sick. 14:15 When evening approached his disciples said, “This place is deserted, and the hour is already late. Send the crowds away to the villages, to buy themselves food.” 14:16 But Jesus replied, “They don’t need to go away. You give them something to eat.” 14:17 They said, “We’ve only got five loaves and two fish.”
14:18 He said, “Bring them here.” 14:19 After ordering the crowd to sit down on the grass he took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, he blessed, broke and gave the loaves to the disciples, and the disciples distributed them to the crowd. 14:20 Everybody ate until they were full. They collected twelve baskets of leftovers. 14:21 Those who ate were about five thousand men, not counting women and children.
14:22 Jesus then arranged for the disciples to get in a boat and go ahead of him to the other side of the sea, while he dismissed the crowd. 14:23 After dismissing the crowd, he went up the mountain by himself to pray. He was there alone while night fell. 14:24 But the boat was now in the middle of the sea, battered by the waves whilst trying to sail into a headwind. 14:25 Shortly before dawn Jesus came to join them, walking on the sea. 14:26 Seeing him walking on the sea, his disciples were terror-struck and howled with fear, thinking, “It’s a ghost!” 14:27 At once Jesus spoke to them, “Be encouraged! It’s me! Don’t be scared.”
14:28 Peter answered, “Lord, if it really is you, command me to come to you on the water.” 14:29 He said, “Come!” Peter stepped out of the boat, and walked on the water towards Jesus. 14:30 But he saw the strong wind and got scared and started to sink, crying out, “Lord, save me!” 14:31 Jesus stretched out his hand and grabbed him, saying, “Little-faith, why did you doubt?” 14:32 The wind stopped when they were both back in the boat. 14:33 The people in the boat knelt down and said, “You really are the Son of God!”
14:34 When they had crossed over, they came to the land of Gennesaret. 14:35 Recognising him, the people sent word into all that surrounding region, and brought to him all who were sick, 14:36 and they begged just to touch the hem of his robe. Whoever touched it was healed.
Entry Filed under: Trust