So far, we’ve been spending time with the storm passage the three synoptic gospels share—Jesus asleep in the boat as the storm overwhelms his friends. There is another one, shared by Matthew and John: “When evening came, his disciples went down to the lake, where they got into a boat and set off across the lake for Capernaum. By now it was dark, and Jesus had not yet joined them. A strong wind was blowing and the waters grew rough. When they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus approaching the boat, walking on the water; and they were frightened. But he said to them, “It is I; don’t be afraid.” Then they were willing to take him into the boat, and immediately the boat reached the shore...” (John 6) Matthew’s account includes more details—why Jesus wasn’t with them in the first place (he had been praying), for example, and the whole scene where Peter gets out of the boat to join Jesus on the water for a moment—but they both describe the storm and Jesus walking up atop the churning waters. And they both speak to the fear these men experienced—this time not because of the storm, as much as because of Jesus. He was the scary part of this encounter—someone who could just calmly walk through the storm (instead of stopping it!), stepping through the rough waves like they were nothing. “Who IS this guy?” they asked themselves. Have you ever experienced something similar? The storms buffeting, but somehow your biggest fear centered on how God was in the situation? We tend to like nice, predictable stories where God shows up and calms the storm; not ones where Jesus invites us out with him to do the impossible as the winds still rage! Still, he was the only calm presence in the midst of the tumult. He knew who he was and that he was held, safe, even there. And he invited his friends into that knowledge, too. It was harder for them. But he invites them through their fear and into courage, nonetheless. How might this be your invitation, too?

Posted by Jamie Bonilla at 2023-08-24 13:48:27 UTC