The Power of Jesus

The Infinite Power of Christ
Matthew 14:22-31
“Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.”

The story of Jesus walking on water is one that we first learn about in Sunday School, but it takes a lifetime to genuinely realize its implications. After a strenuous day of ministry, Jesus and the disciples needed a rest, so Jesus instructed the disciples to cross the sea of Galilee and wait for him while He spent time alone in prayer and conversation with His heavenly Father.  Sometime between 3 a.m. and 6 a.m., when the disciples were about midway in their crossing, the wind began to blow across the lake to the point that they were having difficulty making headway.  As the disciples were being buffeted by the wind, they suddenly saw a person walking on the water. This appearance of a person walking on the water, along with the severity of the wind, brought fear and agitation among the disciples.  

Recognizing their fear, Jesus called out to try to calm their anxiety by affirming that He was Jesus and they did not need to be afraid.  While we often ridicule Peter for becoming fearful and starting to sink because his faith wavered in the storm, we must still recognize the faith and trust that led Peter to get out of the boat in the first place.  Nevertheless, faith is easy when we are in the safety of the known, but fear can easily grip us when we suddenly realize that we are outside the boat and in a position of danger.  

While we often focus the story on Peter and his actions, the focus of Matthew is on what happened next.  When Jesus and Peter got into the boat, the wind suddenly stopped.  Jesus not only superceded the laws of nature by walking upon water but He performed a miracle that only God could perform: He calmed the storm.  But this was not the first time He performed this miracle.  In Matthew 8:23-27 Jesus had previously calmed a storm that threatened the disciples.  In Psalm 107:29-30, we read, “He (God) caused the storm to be still so that the waves of the sea were hushed.  Then they were glad because they were quiet, so He guided them to their desired haven.”  In this event Jesus was demonstrating a power that only God possessed, a power over creation itself.  Jesus possesses the power to circumvent the laws of nature to accomplish His purpose.

This serves as a lesson for us in the midst of our struggles in life.  Like the disciples, we are confronted with circumstances and situations beyond our control and ability to manipulate. The point of these events is to demonstrate that Jesus was God Himself, for He possesses power that only God possessed; he has the power to control nature.  Sometimes, like the disciples, we can easily become fearful of the circumstances we are in.  Life does not always go according to plan, and there are events that happen outside our control.  However, we must remember that these events are not outside the control of the one who promises to be with us and help us in our time of need (Hebrews 4:16).  When we face circumstances that are overwhelming, we can find comfort in the fact that Christ has power over all things.  Sometimes, He exerts this power to deliver us from the threats.  At other times, in His wisdom, he allows us to go through adversity, not because He is powerless in the face of the situation, but because He has a greater purpose in mind.  Trusting in the power of God does not mean that we believe that He will deliver us in every circumstance but that He has the power to act according to His purpose in every situation. He controls the events so that His will is achieved in us and in every circumstance. This gives us comfort to rest entirely in Him. When life becomes uncertain, we can relax in the one with whom there is no uncertainty.

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