Dan Rogers earned his PhD in historical theology from Union Institute and University. He is now retired, after serving many years as the Director of Church Administration & Development in Grace Communion International.
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Dan Rogers: Good morning, everyone. We’ve had a nice service so far, and it’s now time for the section where we talk about God’s word – take a look at it, and see not only what it said, but what it’s saying to us today.
Our selection for today is from Matthew chapter 14 verses 22-32. This is the well-known story of Jesus walking on the water, and Peter’s attempt to walk on the water. Before we talk about the actual text itself, the action takes place on the Sea of Galilee. I wonder if any of you know anything about the Sea of Galilee? Have you ever been there? Have you ever seen it? Is there anything you could share what’s about?
Person5: I knew we’re going to be studying this. It brought to mind the time when I did go to see the Sea of Galilee and I didn’t realize how big it was. It’s really huge and we saw a boat that they’ve pulled up from the bottom of the sea. It looks so tiny... That’s what really stuck with me.
Dan: That small of a boat on that huge body of water. Right. I think we have a picture here on our TV screen of the Sea of Galilee and the type of boat that was common among the fishermen of that day. The boat is kind of interesting. You can’t see the sail, because the sail is down, but that center mast was for a sail. Then they had four positions for rowers. The boat could accommodate as many as 15 people, which, looking at the boat seem that would be pretty crowded out there on the Sea of Galilee.
From behind you can get kind of the imagery of this how big that sea is. They call it a sea, but it’s actually fresh water, and it’s the lowest freshwater lake on earth. I have some dimensions of it here, which are kind of interesting. As Pat said, it’s quite big, 33 miles in circumference, 13 miles long, approximately 8 miles wide at its widest point, 64 square miles are covered by Sea of Galilee. It’s 200 feet deep and 682 feet below sea level. It’s fed primarily by the Jordan River. It’s located 27 miles east of the Mediterranean and 60 miles northeast of Jerusalem. That’s a good day’s walk.
Storms come up on that lake. Does anybody know anything about the storms that frequent the Sea of Galilee? Has anybody read anything, or have you ever seen it in a movie? What did it look like?
Person6: It seemed like it’s very violent. It’s very strong.
Dan: Living here in Southern California, we’re familiar with the phenomenon known as the “Santa Ana winds,” and you know how they come. They come down through the canyons. That’s what happens there.
There are canyons on east and west sides of the sea and the wind gets funneled through them, and at times particularly when ... It really catches speed going through those canyons, you can have some pretty serious weather out there of the sea. They’ve seen waves as high as at least 10 feet [Wow.] out on the Sea of Galilee. No. You usually think of a lake as pretty calm, but this one at times betrays its calmness and can turn violent very quickly and almost without warning. That gives us a little bit of maybe background of what we’re dealing with. A pretty big size lake or sea, and a pretty small boat in comparison, is what we’re going to be dealing here in the story.
Let’s take a look then in Matthew chapter 14, and we begin reading in verse 22, which says, “Immediately, Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. After he dismissed them he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray.”
Now, this is interesting. Why do you think that Jesus wanted to get rid of the disciples, which immediately he made them? He didn’t ask them – he made them get into the boat. What do you think is going on here?
Person5: I think after what we’ve read about the hugeness of everything that went on before, I think he needed a time just to be alone and also the time to be recharged by the prayer.
Dan: What’s the context that we find in the story in, in the book of Matthew? What things have just happened and Jesus’ life and the life of the disciples?
Person1: He just fed the 5000.
Dan: Right. He just fed the 5000. That was probably a day’s work, feeding over 5000 people. Charles, you had a comment?
Person7: I was going to echo what Julie said, and it was the fact that there’s a period here of several parables that Jesus is teaching. This is in a period of a lot of teaching right now as well…so he probably needed some time alone after all this teaching.
Person3: John the Baptist.
Dan: John the Baptist. What happened to him?
Person1: Was beheaded.
Dan: Yes. John the Baptist had just been killed. What relationship did he have to Jesus?
Person3: He was his cousin.
Dan: His cousin. Yeah. This is a pretty hefty blow, the death of your cousin. What about Jesus’ disciples? Did they have any relationship with John the Baptist?
Person3: Yes. They were followers.
Dan: Yes, they had been followers of John the Baptist, at least several of them, before Jesus. Here we have some people who knew John quite well, were very close to him, and now he’s dead. They feed the 5000. I think Jesus says, “I need some alone time.”
Jesus was the Son of God. Why did he need alone time? What’s with that? Here he is praying. Since he’s the Son of God, why is he praying and why is he seeking time to be alone?
Person6: I think he’s modeling for us, for one thing. I think he truly had a need to be alone with his Father, and on top of that, he’s modeling how we ought to respond during a time of stress. That the right to do is to go to God and seek his face and seek that solitude and quiet stillness.
Dan: There was something he couldn’t do with his disciples, the group around him all the time, because they were always arguing, bickering, doing something, and he just needed some alone time, but here again I bring up the point: He’s the Son of God. Was he praying to himself? How does he pray to God when he’s the Son of God? Why is he praying? Why does he need to pray?
Person3: He’s totally human, totally in his emotions.
Dan: He’s, as well as being fully God, fully human and living out his humanity as a human, and so humans need to have alone times. They need to pray, particularly in situations like this.
We find that he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Now, I’m struck by the fact that he liked to go up on a mountain. Have you ever found it interesting to go up on a mountain to pray?
Person1: Mm-hmm (Affirmative)
Dan: Why? What is it about going up on a mountain to pray that makes it special?
Person1: Being in God’s nature. Just seeing his majesty just lay before you and it just makes you feel closer to God.
Dan: When you get up higher you feel closer to him. [Laughter] I think there is truth to that and seeing his creation.
Person7: It helps you to find your place. As you go up, you can look back from where you’re coming, you’re looking back over your city or your town, and because you realize how vast that is and how small you are in comparison to the greater creation.
Dan: Right. It gives you some perspective, doesn’t it? Isn’t it interesting that how many times in the Bible significant events take place on mountains? We call it a “mountain-top experience.” Going up to the mountain and coming back down, like Moses did. He had a rather miraculous thing happen to him after he came down from the mountain, didn’t he?
Kind of interesting. Miraculous things happen to people when they come down back off the mountain, so let’s see if something miraculous happens. Of course, we know the story, it did. Let’s read on: “When evening came, he was there alone, but the boat was already a considerable distance from land buffeted by waves because the wind was against it.”
What strikes me there is, how was Jesus supposed to catch up with his disciples? What do you think they thought?
Person5: He hadn’t told them…. They didn’t know.
Person7: All we know is he dismissed them.
Someone: He told them to go.
Person1: They probably didn’t know he was going to rejoin them.
Dan: Or when. That’s kind of an unusual situation. How do you think they felt?
Person3: I think they were worried.
Dan: They may have been worried. Yeah, worried about Jesus. Worried about what was happening, what was going to happen to their ministry that he said they have, and this is unusual. He disappears. We don’t know when we’ll see him. We’ll go, “This is a big lake. We’re going to cross the lake. When will we see Jesus again? Maybe he’ll get a boat tomorrow and get across.”
Person6: I wonder if the disciples even wondered if Jesus knew that they were in trouble, that they were in the midst of a big storm. He’s off somewhere and they’re in the boat, and they probably didn’t even know that Jesus already had an overview, but they were just ... He doesn’t know we’re out here drowning…
Person5: But they did go in faith that he told them to go, and they did it.
Dan: Yeah, and they are a considerable distance, as the New International Version translates that, considerable distance out in the water this time. They’re being buffeted by the waves, and I love this phrase, “Because the wind was against it.” What do you think they mean by the wind was against it?
Person3: It is pushing it.
Dan: Pushing the boat?
Dan: Do you think it was pushing them the way they wanted to go?
Person6: No. I think pushing them out further into danger.
Dan: Right. They would like to have maybe rowed to shore. Remember they have four oars in there. The sails are of no use right now, but they were probably manning those oars and rowing for all they were worth, but the wind just wouldn’t let go of them. Now, if you know anything about Jewish cosmology, and you probably do, there are two places that you expect to encounter demons. You know what two places in Jewish cosmology they were?
Person7: Water is one of them.
Dan: Right, on the water, out on the sea. Remember in the book of Revelation where all these evil looking critters come from?
Person5: Out of the sea.
Dan: It’s dangerous going out in the sea. Because you might encounter something out there. And the other place would be the wilderness, out in the desert. They’re a little worried about something going on here that maybe more than meets the eye, and I think there’s a hint when Matthew says, “The wind was against it.” I think maybe he means more than physically, that things are not going the way they should. We’re experienced fishermen. This doesn’t look right, what’s happening here tonight.
Person3: They were no longer in control.
Dan: Yeah. That’s another good point. They had lost control. I think that’s an excellent point. Because we know someone is going to come who takes control, who has control. Kind of a lesson for them that they don’t have control of their lives or their situation. In verse 25 we read, “During the fourth watch of the night...” Does anybody have a translation that tells you what time that is?
Person6: Three o’clock in the morning, that’s why it’s early.
Dan: Three, and that’s early. Three o’clock in the morning. “During the fourth watch of the night, Jesus went out to them walking on the lake.” Walking on the lake – why was Jesus walking on the lake? Why didn’t he fly? I mean, good grief, if you’re going to do a miracle, why not do a big one? Why not fly? Why not suddenly appear in the boat with them? Why do you think Jesus might have been walking on the water?
Person3: Amongst the waves that were terrifying them.
Dan: He was there at ease.
Person3: Yeah. At ease walking right to them.
Dan: Yeah. I think we forget that these waves are great, and yet Jesus comes out just walking like I think we’ve seen in the movies, on a peaceful little lake. He’s walking through these waves and the sea is bouncing up and down around him and he’s walking across it.
Person5: Perhaps it’s to reassure them, too, that as (because being very versed in the Old Testament), they knew they had the story of Exodus in the turmoil and everything that went on there, and the big waves that God stilled.
Dan: Very good. There’s a little imagery there, walking between the waters and not being harmed by the waters if you’re the chosen of God. There’s a testimony as to who he was. He’s walking like the Israelites walked through the Red Sea, and he’s come down from the mountain like Moses. There’s a lot going on here that the imagery... Do you think the disciples got all this imagery at that time? [Laughter]
Someone: They’re hanging on to the boat.
Person7: Earlier you were saying that this issue of evil spirits or demons in the water is a potential... He’s walked on top of the water, or is anything there that we may have missed, that Jesus is on top of the water, on top of any evil spirits that might be there? I don’t know...
Dan: Yeah. It could be. Go back to Barbara’s point that he is in control of all things. It’s amazing, but yeah, this demonstrates his control, his peace, his promise, his faith, a lot of things. Again, the disciples had no thoughts about these things right now. Twenty years later, they reflect back, maybe, and to figure this out, but now, they’re just scared. We find that “Jesus went after them walking on the lake. When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified.” Evidently, they didn’t recognize him? Why do you think they didn’t recognize him?
Person5: There’s too much turbulence?
Dan: Too much turbulence. Okay.
Someone: Waves throwing up.
Person2: They’re expecting demons.
Person3: It’s a ghost.
Dan: You tend to see what you expect to see, not what is always really there.
Person6: Plus it seems so unbelievable. I mean, it’s not something you would expect. That would not be something that I would immediate come to the conclusion that oh, it’s Jesus. When you’re already scared of demons and all those things out in the water, like you just explained, that your first assumption would probably be it’s a ghost, or a demon, or something evil.
Dan: Fear hinders your vision. When you’re afraid, it’s harder to see Jesus, because you’re worried. Your mind is where?
Person1: Your own personal storm.
Dan: Right. Where is Jesus?
Person2: He’s there.
Person5: But he doesn’t come to them until, or at least they don’t see him, until after a lot has really happened.
Dan: Yeah. He is there, but they don’t see him. Even when they see him, they don’t recognize him. Isn’t that a question that people tend to ask when they’re in a crisis: Where is God? He’s there, but we don’t see him because we’re not expecting him, and we’re not looking for him, and really knowing that he is there.
Person6: What strikes me on this is it doesn’t say that Jesus came and just calmed the storm and then walked across. Maybe I’m missing something here, but the way I read it, he’s walking through the storm.
Dan: Right. That’s the way it appears to me, too. That’s how I read it. He’s walking right through the midst of the storm, which really is amazing. He’s walking on the lake and they were terrified. They said, “It’s a ghost.” They cried out in fear like a little girl. Oh no. That’s not in there… [Laughter]
Dan: Had these fellows ever been out on the sea before? Yeah. They were fishermen. Most of them. Had they ever been out on that lake? Yeah. It was probably, maybe, one of their boats, unless they rented or borrowed it from someone, and yet these brave, experienced seamen are terrified. Something out of the ordinary is definitely happening here. Now they thought they saw a ghost. Did the disciples believe in ghosts?
Someone: Probably not.
Person3: They had them in their background.
Person6: Maybe it’s still in there somewhere.
Dan: Yeah. You fall back on what you’ve grown up with, what you’ve heard. Did the Jewish people believe in disembodied spirits roaming the earth? Yeah, they did. Is Jesus a disembodied spirit?
Person5: They think he is. [Laughter] He’s walking on the water.
Dan: There might be an interesting message here from Matthew (and other New Testament writers as well) of the reality of Jesus’ humanity, that he is not some disembodied spirit who they perceive as a man. He is a man. He’s not a ghost. He’s not a disembodied spirit. He’s a man, but he’s a man who is walking on the water. How do you think he did that? What technique did he use to walk on the water?
Person3: He’s God.
Dan: He is God, but he’s operating, he’s fully human. How could he do this?
Person3: By the Spirit.
Dan: I would say by the Spirit. That’s the way he seems to have done everything in his ministry, is by the Spirit. He might say that same happened to Moses coming down from the mountain and glowing. He was a man, but he glowed by the Spirit. Let’s say Jesus was a man, but walking down off the mountain and parting the sea, he walked like a man, but through the power of the Holy Spirit. It also shows Jesus is in control, like what Barbara’s raised there. He’s in control. He’s in control of what?
Everything. You mean even storms?
Dan: He’s in control. The forces of nature. Who in the world could be in charge of all creation?
Dan: Yeah. The Creator. Who else would be in charge of all the creation, but the Creator.
“They say, ‘It’s a ghost,’ and they cried out in fear, but Jesus immediately said to them, ‘Take courage. It is I. Don’t be afraid.’” Have you ever noticed how many times Jesus had to say to his disciples, Don’t be afraid? Take courage, don’t fear, and don’t be afraid. Why do you think he had to continually encourage them not to be afraid?
Person5: There was a lot against them.
Dan: We’re fearful. When things get against us, we get fearful. What have we seen that fear does to you, though, when you have that kind of fear?
Person2: Blind you.
Dan: It blinds you. Yeah.
Person3: Makes you crazy.
Person1: You start questioning everything.
Dan: Questioning, doubting ...
Person3: Can’t see the truth.
Dan: Fearing. Can’t see.
Person5: You can’t do anything.
Person2: It paralyzes.
Dan: It kind of reminds me of the fellow who buried a talent because he was afraid. Everybody else did well. His problem was not that he only had the one. His problem was he was afraid, and when you’re afraid, as Barbara said, you do crazy stuff, stuff that’s not right, and you lack faith. You don’t trust God, and you just make things worse. Isn’t it challenging as a human not to be afraid?
We’re going to find out, as we read on in the story, what a challenge it is. Verse 8, “Lord, if it’s you ...,” [Don’t you love Peter’s cry?] “If it’s you [he’s still having a little trouble], Peter replied, tell me to come to you on the water.”
Now, notice that Peter didn’t say, “Let me come to you on the water,” or “Can I come to you on the water?” He said, “Command me to come to you on the water.” Why do you think he put it that way? Why did he ask Jesus to command him to come to him on the water?
Person3: He wanted Jesus to make it possible that he could come, because he was afraid.
Dan: He was afraid, but he felt what? If Jesus commands ...
Person3: ... it would happen, because he’s seen it.
Dan: All right.
Someone: He just thought, he’s been seeing it.
Person6: He wanted to make sure it was going to work. [Laughter]
Dan: If it didn’t work, whose fault was it going to be?
Dan: Can we ever do that?
Dan: Oh, God, you have left me down. I asked you for this and I prayed about it. I prayed about it, and it didn’t happen. It didn’t turn out the way you wanted it. I don’t know what’s going on with you, God, but you’re not listening or something out there. Yeah, I think there was a little human tendency there to “let’s put this on God. I have nothing to do with it. If I fail, it’s God’s fault.”
“So Jesus eventually said, ‘Come.’ Then Peter got down out of the boat.” Would you have gotten down out of the boat?
Person5: Probably not.
Person3: I would hope so.
Dan: You notice that the 11 did not get down out of the boat? There was only one out of the 12 who did, but that’s what? Peter’s personality? Peter’s nature? The others were saying, “Let’s see how this thing works out. If Peter makes it, maybe we’ll walk, too, but first, let Peter go.” Peter got down out of the boat and walked on the water. How cool is that? Peter is walking on the water.
“He came towards Jesus, but when he saw the wind, he was afraid.” What happened here? He saw the wind and was afraid. He walking on water.
Person3: He took his eyes off Jesus.
Dan: Very good. Fear blinded him, and now he couldn’t see Jesus, because he’s afraid. He saw what? The wind?
Person5: He saw what was going on immediately around him and said, “This is impossible.”
Dan: Thankfully, we never do that. [Laughter] I think we can understand it. God, I know you’re there, but look’s going on around me? Oh, my goodness. What’s going to happen next? I am impressed that Peter walked on the water. “He saw the wind and he was afraid and beginning to sink, cried out, ‘Lord, save me.’” What do you think of his actions there? He starts to sink.
Person5: He knew who to turn to.
Dan: He knew who to turn to. Let’s give Peter a lot of credit. He realized “I’m not in control, but I have a feeling Jesus, you are. [Barb: And you love me.] I need you to save me.” Isn’t it the cry of all humanity, or should be, “Lord Jesus, save me”?
Person6: I like it that he didn’t yell to his friends. Throw him the oar over here.
Someone: Throw me a line.
Dan: You get the feeling that he was past the point of no return? There’s a gospel account of Peter swimming. We know Peter could swim. Being a fisherman, we would assume he was a pretty good fisherman having grown up on the lakes, spent his life out there fishing, but at this point, he realizes he can’t swim back to the boat. There is no alternative if Jesus doesn’t save him. He’s a goner.
“Immediately [verse 31], Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. ‘You of little faith,’ he said. ‘Why did you doubt?’ When they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, ‘Truly, you are the Son of God.’” What do you make of Jesus’ words to Peter, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?”
Person3: He was teaching him.
Dan: What do you think the message was?
Person3: He had to believe.
Dan: He needed to believe. He should have had more belief.
Person3: In Jesus.
Person5: I think it also probably looks ahead to the time at the crucifixion when Peter said, “I’ll never give up on you,” and he did, and Jesus is saying, “Don’t doubt.”
Person6: I think I take these words as very tender words, I guess. Because his first reaction was to save Peter, and to grab him and pull him out, and then he told them, oh, come on. It wasn’t that he let him struggle or sink, or he could have dived after him really, but he took it easy on him. He saved him first, and I see these as very tender words even though they’re strong. He saved him first and then he taught him.
Dan: Yeah. Some of us might say, “Well, let him learn his lesson. Let’s have him drown almost and… I think you’re right – Jesus was kind in his admonition. I don’t even know if it’s a rebuke. Peter, he says, had little faith.
Person5: But he had some.
Dan: He had some. How much faith do I have?
Person3: And how much do the disciples have? They didn’t go.
Dan: They didn’t even go out on the water.
Person3: But he was working with him. [Dan: Yeah.] individually...
Dan: I think the point it is, can you be saved with little faith?
Person3: Or with no faith.
Dan: Virtually no faith, because Jesus has faith for you. We have to trust not in our own faith, but on the faith that Jesus has.
Person6: He supplies for us.
Dan: Yeah, he had a little faith, but he was still saved. What condition was Peter in, do you think, when he got back in the boat?
Person3: Wet. [Laughter.]
Person1: Ghostly looking, looking very wet as a sheet.
Dan: Probably. Do you imagine the water was hot or cold?
Dan: And the wind was blowing. I think he might have even turned blue. How do you think he feels all wet and frozen lying there on the boat and all the other 11 looking at him?
Person3: Humble, embarrassed.
Person5: But yet he did walk on water for a little bit. “Did that really happen?” He had to be thinking about that, too.
Person7: Jesus was so full of love that in this ... I have to see that Peter’s gained some additional love for Jesus, and he recognizes that “I desperately need you” and I have to see his heart growing even more there.
Dan: Then Jesus tells the storm to stop, and Peter’s thinking, “yeah, now, after I’m back in the boat. Why didn’t you do that before, when I was walking out there?” Anything we can learn from that?
Person3: He would have learned.
Dan: The storm actually helped Peter, didn’t it?
Dan: Did storms in our lives ever help us? They’re not very pleasant ... We don’t like them…. God seems to saves us out of most of them. He will save us for all eternity, but sometimes you get wet.
Dan: He lets you get wet.
Dan: Then in saving you, you don’t come out unscathed. Why do you think Jesus didn’t stop the storm until it was over, though?
Person6: It would have had far less impact, I think, than if he would have calmed the storm. With this scenario, he didn’t just calm the storm. They also walked on the water. They almost drowned. He was there in the midst...
Dan: …of the storm.
Person5: In the midst – I just thought of that, too – in the midst of the trial and the crisis. Jesus was there when he was walking on the water, and he was still in the midst of the storm, and he was still cold and shivering, and all of that, but he was still there. He did perform the miracles, too, in the midst of the trial, in the midst of the crisis.
Dan: Right. That’s amazing. And you know, has God promised us no problems in life? Do you read that? …persecution… Jesus has never promised us no storms, but what has he promised us?
Someone: That he will be with us.
Dan: He promised that he will be with us in those storms.
Person3: To the end.
Dan: Right, to the very end, and he will save us.
Person6: Even with little faith.
Dan: Even with a little faith that we have, he will still save us. Any lessons that you take away from this story today from this biblical account, anything that really just particularly stands out in your mind?
Person6: I think for me, there are several, but the one of them that just keeps popping in my mind is as a mother of two small children, the approach of that graceful loving way of dealing, the way Jesus dealt with their tantrums sometimes, or their doubts, or their fears, and how Jesus approached almost as a parent to them, how tender and full of mercy and love it was, even when they were in the midst of a crisis, tantrum, or doubt or a fear. As a mom, I think I just really want to take that same approach in life to deal with my children in a tender way, a loving way, even when there’s only very little faith, and even when there’s a lot of doubt whether I’m doing the right thing for them. They doubt me, I can still be there in a loving way, on that level. Of course, there’s a deeper level as well as far as my personal relationship with Jesus, and the storms that I do go through and knowing that he will pull me out. He might not calm the storm, but he will be there and he won’t let me drown.
Dan: Okay. Very good. What else?
Person3: There’s lessons on many levels. There’s the blessing of training, that Jesus was training his disciples through this whole experience about the storms and in saving them, like Suzie said about them.
Dan: Even when he is not visibly present.
Dan: You still have faith and he will save you.
Person7: The modeling at the start of the story, we have Jesus going up to the mountainside to be with his Father to recharge his batteries, to get some peace after having fed the 5000, knowing what is yet to come in his ministry, just spending a time alone with God, just a reminder that even in the midst of struggles, we need to cling to our Father.
Person5: I think that was one that I got, too, is that he was there getting close to his Father, getting recharged, but he knew about the disciples. He knew the problem they were having and he did go rescue them.
Dan: Right. How do you think maybe this speaks to people who ask that question, “When bad things happen, where is God?” How does this speak to that?
Person7: He’s there. You may not see him. The storm may blind us, but he’s there. We have to look for him.
Dan: He’s not only there in spirit. How else is he there, do you think?
Person2: He’s physically present.
Dan: Physically present, and not only in his being, but in whatever humans may be there as well. God is present, and there is no good but of God, so whatever happens to us in storms, if it’s not Jesus who pulled us up ... What if it’s a rowboat that came out and pulled Peter out of the water? Was Jesus still there?
Dan: Yeah. Peter’s present in the people in the rowboat. You know the old joke about you know guy was waiting on his housetop in the flood for the Lord to save him, and the rowboat came up and he said, “No thanks. The Lord is going to save me.” The helicopter came, “He said, No thanks. The Lord’s going to save me.” He drowned and went to heaven. When he’s in heaven he said, “Lord what happened? You didn’t save me.” He said, “Well I sent a rowboat and a helicopter for you.” [Laughter]
Sometimes we don’t see the ways. Again, we’re blind to the ways that God comes to us. We look for God to come to us in the way we want him to come, and the way we expect him to come, and when it’s not that way, sometimes we’re blind to it and don’t see it.
Person1: I think also how much has our faith grown through each storm we face. Does our faith grow each time? Or do we allow more doubt?
Dan: I think you make a good point. One of the things about Peter was he had some faith, he thought, and he walked on the water, but even at our highest points, when we have faith to walk on water, as humans, we still revert, and then the next time, didn’t learn the lesson at all. Now we doubt. Now we’re sinking, and you’d think, Well, Peter, if you walked on water a while...”
Person1: Why didn’t you keep going?
Dan: Why didn’t he keep going? We humans, we’re up and down. Thank God, it’s not our faith that saves us.
Person6: What I love about this Jesus who’s so fully human, he must have felt the storm and the boat rocking, and he must have been getting wet and cold. He was in the storm with them. He was not the one who was miraculously all dry and probably didn’t feel the cold. He must have felt all the elements in the midst of the storm. He put himself there. To me, it’s what makes Jesus so approachable knowing that I’m in a storm. “You might not calm the storm, but I know you know what it feels like.”
Dan: Yeah. There’s a lot to learn from this story, isn’t it?
All right. Well, that concludes our message portion of the service today. We’ll sing the final hymn, and have a closing prayer, and dismiss for the day.