Are you looking for Jesus?
Whom do you seek?
Are you just looking for safety?
Matt 14:22-36, Mark 6:45-56, John 6:16-24
1 Jesus intended to pass them by.
One of the key takeaways from this passage is Jesus’s intent to pass the disciples by (Mark 6:48). If you are in the middle of a loss, struggling, confused, hurt, feeling pain, disappointed, and tired, you first want to know that Jesus will pass you straight on by, right?
Why on the stormy waves would Jesus pass us by? He certainly never will do that to us? But he will. In Luke 24:28, Jesus keeps on trucking. Jesus keeps on walking, acting like he is going farther.
It’s by testing our faith, love, and appetite for him that Jesus always comes in his own time and not always as we expect.
Living by faith involves living according to the revelation we have received, in the midst of experiences we cannot explain. Jesus is up to something. To show our true feelings, Jesus wants you to seek him first. Things we do not understand about the mystery of walking with Christ scares us. To seek God only when we need to is no obedience. Jesus will respond by our faith, not our demands.
As we know, in the storm, Jesus is stopped. In Luke 24:28 when Jesus keeps walking, the disciples call out to Him, and he stays with them. In both cases, it was on the disciples to seek God. Amid our loss, it will always be our response in faith to seek Him continually.
2 Jesus was unrecognized, and they were terrified.
The disciples did not recognize Jesus; they thought this was a ghost and were terrified. Had the disciples recognized Jesus, there would have been no testing. The essential purpose of a divine test is to stretch us.
Peter says, “Lord, if it’s you, tell me to come to you on the water” (Matt 14:28) Jesus told him to come to him, and Peter took him at his word, got out of the boat, and did so. Jesus calls it faith when Peter steps out of the boat, but when Peter realizes what he is doing, “he was afraid and began to sink and cried out Lord, save me!’ Jesus did not leave him there, but ‘Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. You of little faith, he said. Why did you doubt? (Mat 14:30-31)
The whole point I see in this is to withhold the Lord’s presence and purpose at first.
3 Invited into the boat
What was the impact of Peter’s impulsive act of faith? First, it enabled and led others to believe. From a distance, those who observed Jesus saw, believed, and invited him into their boat. Their lives were forever changed from that moment forward. The storm stopped “and immediately the boat reached the shore where they were heading” (John 6:21). Right away, both peace and rest came to them simultaneously.
Without seeking Jesus first, our own lives and those around us will never be what God intends it to be. Yes, there is safety in the boat. But where is God? In your loss, look for God; He will bring peace. If you reach out and fall, he will catch you. Seek Him continually.
Read more about Peter in my book Promised Paradise.