His Reputation Preceded Him

34 When they had crossed over, they landed at Gennesaret. 35 And when the men of that place recognized Jesus, they sent word to all the surrounding country. People brought all their sick to him 36 and begged him to let the sick just touch the edge of his cloak, and all who touched it were healed. Matthew 14:34-36

Word traveled fast that Jesus was in town. They obviously didn’t have social media back then but the effect was the same.

Can you imagine what it was like as He healed people passing by who just touched the hem of his cloak?

Did He make eye contact with them and subsequently look into their souls?

Did He pray for them as they were being healed?

My guess is He did all of those because the physical healing wasn’t the most important part of His ministry.

It’s no different today, is it? Yes, He can and does heal the physical body of some people, but His ministry is to the whole man and woman.

Even after our life has been transformed, He’s concerned about our whole being.

It’s not “one and done.”

It’s one and always.

Hallelujah!

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They Worshiped Him in the Boat

32 And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. 33 Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.” Matthew 14:32-33

They finally got it. The disciples were finally starting to grasp who this man was.

From feeding the multitudes to healing the sick to walking on water, and now to calming the wind and waves. It clicked and snapped into place for them.

So they worshiped.

It would undoubtedly be the first of many such Aha! moments for them as they were still trying to let it all sink in.

What did their worship look like with the actual Son of God sitting in a boat in front of them?

Well, for starters, they acknowledged that He was the Son of God, making Himself equal with God. With that acknowledgement, they had to admit that they were mere mortals.

Did they bow down before Him in the boat? Perhaps.

Certainly their respect for his capabilities off the charts, so to speak. He was clearly the real deal and capable of everything. He had no upper limits.

Our task, quite similar to the disciples in the boat that morning, is to worship Jesus.

Whether it’s through our words, actions, raising hands, or falling down before Him, we acknowledge that He’s the Son of God and we aren’t.

Without Him we are nothing.

Otherwise, we’ll begin to live life on our own terms, forgetting the One who can make our life easier and more rewarding.

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In Over Our Heads

28 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”

29 “Come,” he said.

Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”

31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?” Matthew 14:28-31

My wife tells the story of when she was little, she and a friend tried to reenact this scene. The friend immediately told my wife that it was obvious she didn’t have faith. How could she tell? “You’re holding your nose.”

In this portion of the story, we get a glimpse of a mere mortal doing something miraculous.

Impetuous Peter recognized Jesus’ voice so he called out to Him.

Jesus obliged his request.

Then he doubted.

They Jesus rescued him.

It’s the cycle of life for us as well.

We step out in faith, realize we may be a bit in over our heads (or a lot), call out to Him, and He rescues us…again and again and again.

Of course it’s never so cut and dried because we have to deal with messy people and touchy situations.

Still, though, our response should first and foremost be, “Help!”

He is there when we call out. We just need to call out.

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Take Courage. It is I!

25 Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear.

27 But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” Matthew 14:25-27

After Jesus was refreshed by praying and solitude, He walked out to the disciples on the lake. Of course they were shocked and frightened! Who has ever walked on water before?

Jesus then said the words we need to hear regularly: “Take courage. It is I. Don’t be afraid.”

Greater words have not been spoken to a disciple of Christ past or present.

These are the words that propel us to keep on the straight and narrow, and to live a godly life in Christ

They enable us to take bold steps for Christ in the midst of the unknown.

Most importantly, though, His words encourage us to live for Him one day at a time, for He even said, “In this world, you will have tribulation, but I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

When you kneel in prayer, remember “Take courage. It is I. Don’t be afraid.”

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The Son of the Living God Prayed

22 Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. 23 After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone, 24 and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it. Matthew 14:22-24

As mentioned earlier, Jesus finally took the time to commune alone with the Father.

What did He say?
What could He say?
Did He talk about how it was going there on earth?
Did He shake His head at the motley group of disciples He chose?
Did He pray for their well-being?
Did He pray that the storm would test their faith?
Did He ask what He got Himself into being on earth?
Did He pray that God’s will be done in the lives of those He ministered to?

We don’t know what He prayed that night, only that He prayed. It’s not important what He prayed else it would have been included in the text.

But the Son of God – the Second Person of the Holy Trinity – took the time out of His schedule to pray.

I don’t have to look hard to find that lesson, do you?

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