Hello, my name is Leah and I am part of the staff team here at STC and I am so excited to be sharing a short reflection on today’s podcast. We’ve heard some really great stuff from Tom, Abby and Matt and we look forward to what Sam has to share with us tomorrow. But today we are going to carry on through Matthew 14, looking at verses 22-36.
I’m not going to lie, I was thrilled to see that I was given this passage to read through and reflect on. Jesus walking on water – amazing! However, it then dawned on me that it is probably one of the most talked about and one of the most well known stories of Jesus (apart from his birth, crucifixion and resurrection of course!) and many people have spoken on this, so to make this my own has become quite a challenge with a lot of prayer and trust that God will give me the right words to say!
This leads me to our focus verse today Matthew 14:31 “ “Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?””
To set up a little context to why I picked this verse in particular I’ll just do a recap of what has happened prior to this moment.
Yesterday we read about Jesus feeding the 5,000 with five loaves and two fish. Right after that had happened Jesus told his disciples to get into a boat and go ahead of him to where they were going next while he finished up where they were. After Jesus went up onto a mountain by himself to pray. The boat that the disciples travelled out on was quite far out from where they had left and so Jesus walked on water to come and catch up with them. The disciples were startled at this and thought it was a ghost but Jesus told them to not be afraid and to take courage as it was him. The disciples however had their doubts and Peter challenged him by saying “if it is you tell me to walk on the water” and Jesus told him to come, Peter joined him on the water and he believed but as soon as a gush of wind came, that belief went into a panic of drowning, crying out to Jesus to save him, which lead Jesus to question Peter’s trust in him.
This passage reminds me of the gripping moments in a film when the two lead characters are running away from the bad guys and one of their foot slips and they fall down a cliff edge and end up hanging off of the cliff with everything they have. When a hand is offered to them by someone who is liked in the film (the other lead character) they take it and are rescued – but that takes a whole lot of trust to let go of the cliff and hang on to the other person’s strength. If they were to let go – well we all know what would happen there – but also on the flip side you have that moment when there’s a character in the film that gains the trust of the liked lead character when really what is achieved is hurt and anger. For example, Jafar in the Lion King. The brother of Mufasa, uncle to Simba, it looks like in the film that he is going to save Mufasa but actually pushes him to lose his grip and puts the blame for his brother’s death on his nephew, Simba. But one thing to take from this is that as Christians we know the hand that is been held out to us, Jesus’s hand, and therefore we need to take that leap of faith and accept the hand that has been offered to us.
What does that mean for us today?
Stepping out of the boat and accepting the hand of Jesus could be anything, a potential career change, a difficult situation at work, a calling from God, telling someone about your faith.. the list goes on. It’s something that requires you to step out of your comfort zone. For me, it’s this podcast, I mentioned earlier about the challenge of this podcast and having the right words to say to make it my own and not some regurgitated version of the hundreds of talks already made on this topic, even recording this is quite a challenge and something I am not used to.
With these challenges there is one thing to remember. When we trust in Jesus fully with our situations and step out of our boat, our safe space, he will not let our foot slip. Psalm 121 verse 3 says “He will not let your foot slip – he who watches over you will not slumber.”
I don’t know each and every situation that is going on in everyone’s personal lives, and really that’s none of my business and a lot of the time we think that some things are impossible but remember this.. through God all things are possible. We can’t do things by our own strength – my experiences alone have taught me that but with the strength of our Lord and the support of our clusters and small groups praying together into a certain situation I can guarantee it is a lot easier!
It’s so easy for me to turn around and tell you to step out of the boat and just do it! But trust God in all situations and he will provide for you! Even Peter had his doubts, and Jesus never abandoned him and let any harm come his way when they were on the water together. What I am really trying to say is the water for Peter is actually safer than the boat, because the water was where Jesus was. Those that walk on the water for Jesus… may sink (yes stepping out onto the water may not always be smooth sailing)… but they can never drown.
Jesus helped me with this podcast today – and I believe He can help you too.
So whatever you are battling with today – trust Jesus with it.
Lord I thank you for the privilege to be able to share on the podcast today. In whatever situations and battles we face this day, may we step out of the boat and take your hand and put all our trust in you.
BIBLE READING: Matthew 14:22-36
Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone, and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.
Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. ‘It’s a ghost,’ they said, and cried out in fear.
But Jesus immediately said to them: ‘Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.’
‘Lord, if it’s you,’ Peter replied, ‘tell me to come to you on the water.’
‘Come,’ he said.
Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came towards Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, ‘Lord, save me!’
Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. ‘You of little faith,’ he said, ‘why did you doubt?’
And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. Then those who were in the boat worshipped him, saying, ‘Truly you are the Son of God.’
When they had crossed over, they landed at Gennesaret. And when the men of that place recognised Jesus, they sent word to all the surrounding country. People brought all who were ill to him and begged him to let those who were ill just touch the edge of his cloak, and all who touched it were healed.