VBS – Encounter on the Water – Day 3

MATTHEW 14:22-33

If you’re hoping to see animals in the wild, it’s easy to miss some great opportunities if you are in a hurry or fail to focus. But if you are alert and patient, what appears to be just another bush will reveal the flick of a tail or the twitch of an ear, and then you realize what has been there all along!

Today’s passage is much the same. It may be a familiar story, but be alert! Ask the Holy Spirit to focus your heart to see a bit of something you may have missed before.

In verse 22, it says that Jesus “made” the disciples get into the boat. His command was going to put them right in the middle of a crisis. The disciples obeyed. Obedience sometimes puts us on course for rough seas. But rest assured, the One who made the sea is fully in control.

Some of the disciples were experienced fishermen and well aware of the surprise storms that could pop over the ridges that surrounded the Sea of Galilee, almost without warning. The disciples must have been tired. They had already crossed the sea earlier that day (v. 13), spent all day with Jesus while He taught, then helped feed five thousand plus people. Late into the night, rowing against the wind, they must have felt like they were going nowhere. I’m sure their tired brains thought their eyes were playing tricks on them when they saw movement on the water. Was it a ghost? Physically and emotionally exhausted, they cried out in fear.

Don’t you love that “immediately” Jesus spoke to them? Jesus told them to have courage and not be afraid. “It is I” is literally translated “I Am.” In God’s amazing economy, He often packs tons of meaning into the most basic of statements. This allusion to Exodus 3:14 hinted again to the fact that “I and the Father are one” (John 10:30). Also interesting to note is Job 9:8 that hints of this very miracle.

Peter’s response was to ask Jesus to command him to come walk on the water with Jesus. Peter was learning that power came from Jesus. Can you even imagine what those first steps were like for Peter? As a fisherman who had surely plunged into those depths many times, now Peter felt those waves solidly supporting his weight! Who could have kept from glancing around at this amazing phenomenon! Suddenly that sinking feeling returned, because he was indeed sinking! Peter cried out to the Lord for help, and Jesus reached out and caught hold of him. Jesus said, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?” Then together they climbed back into the boat … and the wind stopped!

Have you ever experienced noise so loud you had to shout for the person next to you to be able to hear? When that noise stops suddenly, you almost hold your breath, the silence is so profound. Was that what the disciples experienced? Did they collectively hold their breath as what they had witnessed filled their senses? The next instant was a unanimous response of worship. Even though they had seen mind-blowing miracles earlier in the day, this encounter was an eye-opening experience and their heartfelt response was, “Truly You are the Son of God!”

1.Read John 14:1 (today’s bonus verse). How can this verse help you at this midpoint of VBS?
2.Can you relate to the disciples’ situation? Think back to a time when you were physically and emotionally drained. How has God spoken to you to restore your peace and courage?

Leave a Reply