Scripture Reading: Matthew 14:22–33
Context: At this point in the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus is very active in His public ministry. He has taught His followers many lessons, performed many miracles and has already begun to send His disciples on their own missions.
After a long morning of teaching and performing the miracle of feeding the five thousand, Jesus dismisses the crowds, sends His disciples out fishing and goes by Himself up a mountain to pray. From a distance, Jesus watches as a storm comes in over the waters on which the disciples are boating. He sees them tossed by the waves and allows them to experience this turmoil for a while. Eventually He comes to their aid walking on the water. Though fearful, when Peter sees Jesus, he is invited to walk on water also. As Peter does so, his faith begins to fail, and he begins to sink until Jesus saves him.
Reflection: Prayerfully read the above Scripture a couple of times and then take it line by line, meditating upon the spiritual meaning. Allow God to speak to you through each line. The goal must not be simply to study the passage but to hear God speak to you through it. The following points may help:
- Ponder the context of the scene: Jesus dismisses the crowds, goes up the mountain, can see the boat from a distance, sees the storm come in, etc.
- The “fourth watch of the night” means between 3–6 a.m.
- A “furlong” is 220 yards. The boat was “many” furlongs away from land.
- Prayerfully ponder the initial reaction of the disciples when they saw Jesus walking on the water.
- Allow the initial words of Jesus to be spoken also to you as you struggle with the fears of life: “Take heart, it is I; have no fear.” Reflect on that line over and over for a while.
- Peter’s fear of the wind caused him to begin sinking. What causes you to lose faith?
- Hear Jesus’ words as spoken to you, “O man of little faith, why did you doubt?”
- After Jesus saved Peter and they got in the boat, the disciples “worshiped” Jesus, proclaiming their faith in Him. Prayerfully join them now in this worship.
- Baptism of the Lord
- Two Standards
- Three Classes of Men
- Calling of Apostles
- Wedding at Cana
- Cleansing the Temple
- Sermon on the Mount
- Calming the Storm
- Walking on Water
- The Apostles were Sent to Preach
- Conversion of Mary Magdalene
- How Christ Fed the Five Thousand
- Transfiguration of Christ
- Resurrection of Lazarus
- Supper in Bethany
- Three Ways of Humility