Friday 21 October 2016

Bible Book:

“Jesus immediately reached out his hand and caught him, saying to him, ‘You of little faith, why did you doubt?’” (v. 31)

Matthew 14:28-33 Friday 21 October 2016

Psalm: Psalm 34:1-10


We pick up the story today right where we left off yesterday (link) with the disciples in theboat in the midst of a storm with Jesus coming over to themoffering words of comfort. As was nearly always the case, Peter wasthe first to respond.

Peter was a person of impulse. At the beginning of his ministryJesus asked a tired Peter to put his fishing boat out into the laketo make a catch. Peter's response was almost mockery -  theyhad already been out all night and caught nothing; but this swungto full devotion as he knelt at Jesus' feet in worship on landingthe biggest catch of his life (Luke5:1-11). There was also the end of Jesus' ministry when Peterpromises him full support even to death. Only to fulfil Jesus'prediction that he would be the one to deny ever knowing Jesus (Matthew 26:31-35, 69-75).

Matthew is the only Gospel writer to include this part of thestory. Both the Gospels of Mark and John record Jesus walking onthe water (Mark 6:45-52; John6:16-21), but neither mention Peter. Maybe Matthew felt theneed to cement Peter's place as the leader of the Church afterChrist's ascension, despite his flaws and lack of faith.

It is not made clear quite how far Peter went after climbing outof the boat, or how far away Jesus was at this point. But what isevident is that the storm was still raging and Peter only began tosink when he noticed the waves about him. If this was included toencourage the early Church facing storms of their own it could havebeen a challenge to them not to view the storm as greater than thepower of Christ.

The chapter opened with Herod wondering if Jesus was John theBaptist returned from the dead (Matthew 14:2). Now as the chapter draws to aclose we hear the statement of faith that surely Jesus is the Sonof God (v. 33).

To Ponder

  • In what circumstances do you think it is okay to test Jesus asPeter did, asking for evidence to know that it is him?
  • In what ways has Jesus helped you when you felt you weresinking? As you remember, give thanks to God for that.

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