| from Dr. Kathy Koch |
Pondering some lessons from Matthew 14:22-33 has been good for me. Maybe you’ll benefit from thinking about these things, too.
In Matthew 14:25, it’s recorded that Jesus walked on the water to meet up with His disciples who were in a boat that had been blown far from shore. We learn in verse 26 that when the disciples saw Him on the water, they were terrified, crying out in fear. And, then the comfort of verse 27: “But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, ‘Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.’”
- When I’m overwhelmed and fearful I want to picture Christ saying this to me. I want to hear Him welcome me into a challenging place He designed so my faith would grow. “Take heart, Kathy. It’s me. Don’t be afraid.”
You might know what happens next, which is recorded in Matthew 14:28-33. Peter walked on the water to go to Jesus, “but when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me.” (verse 30)
Jesus’ responses deeply encourage me for several reasons. It’s recorded in verse 31 that: “Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”
- Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of Peter. I want to become more aware of when Jesus rescues me. I wonder how many times Jesus has saved me from trauma I wasn’t even aware of? I need to be grateful.
- I want to be more alert to people around me so I can step in and immediately prevent them from making tragic mistakes. Sometimes I observe, thinking, “She’s really not going to do that, is she?” If I speak up sooner maybe I can prevent problems for some people.
- Jesus didn’t ask first, “Why do you need me to rescue you?” Or, “What don’t you understand?” He didn’t rebuke Peter with a comment like, “If you would listen better to me, you wouldn’t be doubting right now.” I think Jesus knew that with Peter sinking and fearful, he wouldn’t have been able to hear any lesson. I need to remember this and remind parents of this. There’s often an important lesson to teach and learn, but timing is key. Rescue first. Put people at ease. Then point out what you need to.
- When Jesus did ask Peter a question, he connected the behavior that concerned him to his identity. “O you of little faith (identity), why did you doubt (behavior)?” I’ve been teaching for years that identity controls behavior so this is a powerful question. I need to make connections like this more obvious for people. I love that Jesus didn’t beat around the bush. He went right to the issue at hand and nailed it. He didn’t distract with lots of words. I can get better at this.
I’m grateful for the way Jesus reacts to us. I want to become more like Him for many reasons. Do you?