Sunday, August 7, 2011

Matthew 14:22-33 We need to suffer before we really understand grace

After he had fed the people, Jesus made the disciples get into a boat
and precede him to the other side,
while he dismissed the crowds.
After doing so, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray.
When it was evening he was there alone.
Meanwhile the boat, already a few miles offshore,
was being tossed about by the waves, for the wind was against it.
During the fourth watch of the night,
he came toward them walking on the sea.
When the disciples saw him walking on the sea they were terrified.
“It is a ghost,” they said, and they cried out in fear.
At once Jesus spoke to them, “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.”
Peter said to him in reply,
“Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.”
He said, “Come.”
Peter got out of the boat and began to walk on the water toward Jesus.
But when he saw how strong the wind was he became frightened;
and, beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!”
Immediately Jesus stretched out his hand and caught Peter,
and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”
After they got into the boat, the wind died down.
Those who were in the boat did him homage, saying,
“Truly, you are the Son of God.”

 This passage likely points to a post resurrection experience of Jesus. Here Jesus' ability to walk on water can be taken literally, however when one looks at the culture of the period, walking on water was simply an attribute to someone of virtuous and heroic. However whether Jesus did walk on water or not is not important. What is important is that here we see Peter calling out to Jesus. His faith in Jesus allows him to walk on water however he begins to lose faith quickly and sinks. This is like us in our faith lives. We often go through times of ups and downs in our faith. Many times it is our egos that become inflated and we need to start sinking before we realize it is God's grace that gets us through. This image of Peter calling out to Jesus and Jesus hauling him up is symbolic of Jesus' undying patience with us. We need to sink before we really understand grace.

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