Jesus’ Miracles and Meaning

Jesus’ Miracles and Meaning

GROWTH AND SUCCESS IN LIFE – Lessons Learned at the Feet of Jesus

Jesus is moving to the center of his three years of ministry, teaching about the Kingdom of God, about His place as the Messiah, about what it means to follow Jesus as a disciple, and the authority of Jesus for what he is saying and doing.  Now to the miracles.

Matthew 14:29-3629“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?”32And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. 33Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.” 34When they had crossed over, they landed at Gennesaret. 35And when the men of that place recognized Jesus, they sent word to all the surrounding country. People brought all their sick to him 36and begged him to let the sick just touch the edge of his cloak, and all who touched it were healed.

1.  Jesus Teaching about Fear and Faith.  Jesus now instructs his disciples on who He is, and how to understand their fears and the need for faith.  After the miracle of the feeding of the 5,000 with a few loaves and fish, Jesus “made the disciples get into the boat and go ahead.”  The very first lesson, of course, is that God is in control of the circumstances of life which are tailor-made to teach us about faith.  From the storm to Jesus’ walking toward them on the water, their first reaction was confusion and fear.  Again, lessons learned and relearned, trusting God at the outset of our trials and circumstances, and reaching with faith and joy are all part of the path for disciples.

2.  Peter: A Case Study in Loyalty and Devotion.  You have to love Peter.  He ultimately would be the rock on whom the church was built.  He was a stalwart in the book of Acts, standing against Jesus’ critics.  He would take up a sword against the enemies of Jesus but would run from Jesus when confronted, denying his allegiance multiple times in the shadow of the cross.  Here, Jesus again patiently instructs Peter about the challenges of doubt and fear and reaffirms his place as the Son of God.

What great lessons come out of these glimpses into the ministry and life of Jesus and his disciples.  Like the encouragement with the followers of John the Baptist (Matt 11), we are encouraged to ask real questions when confronted with fear and doubt, rely on the history and faithfulness of God to others and to us from the past, and trust Him for the future.  It does not get any more complicated than that.  Taking our fears, placing them at the feet of Jesus, and responding in faith to Him who has saved us and now is in heaven at the right hand of God.

Hebrews 1:1-3 1In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, 2but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe. 3The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.

Next week – lessons in our heritage from the Old Testament and its application to faith now in our lives.  Stay tuned and stay well.

— John MooreP

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