THURSDAY (3/11/21)

Mike Houghtaling writing again today, representing the Beacon Home
Group. You probably have heard what we are about to read today. Jesus
walks on water and Peter does, kind of.

  • Please take a minute and please read Matthew 14:22-36 AND as you do think: What is the point of this story?

This story is often called “Peter’s walking on the water.” The take-home
is often something like this: You can walk on water – and not sink! – if
you keep your eyes on Jesus. But I read an interesting take on this story
as I was studying this passage a few months ago:

What if the message of this text were “If [Peter] had enough faith, he
would have believed the word of Jesus (Verse 37, “Take courage. I am
here.”) that came to him in the boat as [providing] the presence and
reality of God”? Faith is not being able to walk on water – only God can
do that – but daring to believe, in the face of all the evidence, that God
is with us in the boat, made real in the community of faith as it makes its
way through the storm, [despite the fight of the heavy waves].”

If the above take is correct, then this story is NOT about the courage to
get out of the boat (even though courage is important), nor is it about
keeping our eyes on Jesus (even though we do need to stay focused on
Jesus). The importance is taking Jesus at his word that he is with us in
the boat, that is whatever situation we find ourselves in. After all, Jesus
being “God with us” is a dominant theme in the Gospel of Matthew from
beginning (Matthew 1:23) to end (Matthew 28:20).

Ponder and reflect on the following question today:

  • What situation do you find yourself in that you find it hard to trust that Jesus – and therefore God – is with you? And as we ask at Hope Ministries: What would trusting God look like in your situation?