October 11, 2021
Scripture: But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.” Matthew 14:27 ESV
Observation: This is Matthew’s account of Christ walking on water. The story begins with the news of Jesus’ cousin’s beheading. Grieving, Jesus sought solitude alone with his Father, but the desperate crowd tracked him down. So Jesus continued to expend himself for their sake. Teaching and miraculously feeding thousands, he then sends his disciples ahead of him by boat and retreats again to seek refreshment with the Father. Once again, his sabbath rest is interrupted, but his disciples are distressed and need a Savior. Terrified by the storm and even more so by Jesus’ appearance on water (perceiving him as a ghost), the Son of God speaks words of comfort and assurance to his disciples. Then, uncertain of Jesus’ physical presence, Peter asks him to command Peter to come on the water to him. For a few seconds, Peter, like Jesus, defies gravity until he takes his eyes off his Lord onto the stormy chaos around him.
Takeaway: Stay focused. We are more likely to succumb to fear and doubt when we turn our attention to what is out of our control and lose focus on the One who is in control. But when we fix our sights on the Son of God who for the joy set before him (that would be us) endured the cross, scorned its shame, and has resumed his rule from his heavenly throne as King of the universe (Hebrews 12:2), he will speak to our hearts and arrest our fears. For it is our Savior, and he will be with us to the end of the age (Matthew 28:20).
Prayer: In your mercy, Father, please help us to stay focused on your Son, that we might stay attuned to his comforting words: “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.” Amen.
Rev. Gordon Green, M.Div., M.A. Counseling