March 14th, 2008 | Posted in » Bible in a Year
Back to the gospel of Matthew….
Here’s my notes from today’s reading:
Matthew 14:22-31 (NIV)
22Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. 23After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, 24but the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.
25During the fourth watch of the night Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 26When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear.
27But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”
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. 30But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”
31Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”
I don’t know about you, but most of the time I seem to have big problems even getting out of my boat to step out in faith to follow Jesus. For some reason, I generally look at the condition of the seas before I’ll even consider it, and allow myself to be dissuaded by even the most gentle of breezes.
What is it about our frail human nature that makes faith so difficult sometimes (if not even most of the time)? Why is faith and trust… in our Savior, no less… so difficult?
Shouldn’t He be the one we’re most willing to trust and follow?
Matthew 15:21-28 (NIV)
21Leaving that place, Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon. 22A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is suffering terribly from demon-possession.”
23Jesus did not answer a word. So his disciples came to him and urged him, “Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us.”
24He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.”
25The woman came and knelt before him. “Lord, help me!” she said.
26He replied, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to their dogs.”
27“Yes, Lord,” she said, “but even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.”
28Then Jesus answered, “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.” And her daughter was healed from that very hour.
I love the persistence of faith demonstrated by the Canaanite woman… what an example for all of us!
Matthew 16:24-26 (NIV)
24Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 25For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it. 26What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?
Think about that passage for a while. Seriously. No comments I could give about it could possibly do it justice.
Okay… did you do it? What is God saying to you through it?