Posted by: glorifyhim1 | November 7, 2015

What Jesus Wants Me to Know

What Jesus Wants Me to Know

The past month, my little corner of the world has been a microcosm of life. It began with the wedding of one of my nieces, the celebration of my grandson’s second birthday, and the birth of a precious great-grand-niece. But interspersed amidst these joyous events were the declining health and loss of a dear neighbor; the horrible loss of a well-loved, happy 22-year-old that I could still remember teaching in kindergarten Sunday School; and, finally, the third anniversary of the loss of my first grandson. All of these things occurred within the span of about four weeks! My emotions were up and down like a roller coaster, vacillating between fullness and joy to loss and sadness.

I’m sure that most of us are all too familiar with such seasons in our lives – when the ordinary is interrupted by the more weighty things of life – those things that encourage us to think, ponder, and either rejoice or bemoan, the intricacies of life.

It encourages me to know that Jesus, Himself, encountered such times during His earthly ministry. One such time is recorded in Matthew 14. After John the Baptist was beheaded by Herod, the disciples went and told Jesus. Matthew tells us that after Jesus heard what had happened, He departed by Himself to a deserted place. Yet multitudes followed Him, so He continued to heal those who were sick. When it became late, He was so moved with compassion toward the multitude that He blessed and multiplied two fish and five loaves to feed over 5,000 men, plus women and children.

Jesus’ day did not end there, however. He sent His disciples in a boat to the other side, sent the multitudes away, and went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. The disciples, however, were in the boat in the middle of the sea and were being tossed about by the wind and waves. Matthew tells us that Jesus came to them in the fourth watch of the night (between 3:00 and 6:00 am) walking on the water. The disciples were overcome with fear until Jesus assured them who He was. Peter, in his exuberance, got out of the boat and attempted to walk on the water to Jesus, but became afraid and began to sink. Jesus saved Peter, got into the boat, and the wind ceased.

There is something so touching to me about this day in Jesus’ life. His first impulse was to depart to a deserted place by Himself. But life kept calling and He responded with compassion. Near the end of His day, He once again sought time alone as He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. Mark tells us that “when evening came, the boat was in the middle of the sea; and He was alone on the land. Then He saw them straining at rowing, for the wind was against them” (Mark 6:47-48a). Once again, Jesus is needed and He responds.

But what is really interesting to me is something else that Mark states. “He came to them, walking on the sea, and would have passed them by” (Mark 6:48b). Would Jesus really have just walked past them when He had seen them struggling and had come to them? On the contrary, I think that even in the midst of such a trying and demanding day, Jesus saw something that the disciples needed even more than a quick fix to their problem. They needed to really know who He was. He wanted them to understand His deity and mastery over all creation. As Mark relates after the wind ceased: “And they were greatly amazed in themselves beyond measure, and marveled. For they had not understood about the loaves, because their heart was hardened” (Mark 6:51-52).

Are we just like Jesus’ disciples? Do we, too, sometimes, fail to consider who Jesus is and what He offers to us when life happens? Do we relegate Jesus to the pages of the Bible, someone we hear about on Sunday, and while we don’t disbelieve Him, we fail to recognize who He is and what He can do in your life and mine?

This passage encourages me that when my days are good or when they are difficult, when my way is easy or when it is chaotic and challenging, and when I am experiencing great joy or much sadness; God is there – and just as He wanted the disciples to know; He wants me to know, too, that He is Creator and Master of the universe; that He is infinite, eternal, and unchangeable; and that He is with me!

“And what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come.”

(Ephesians 1:19-21, ESV)

 

 

 

 

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