Wednesday in the Tenth Week of Ordinary Time

Matthew 14:22-33; Mark 6:45-52; John 6:14-21

Take Heart; It is the Lord

Today’s lesson is the account of our Lord’s walking on the water.  But before that, we note that he sent the disciples off in the boat while he dismissed the crowd he fed earlier that evening.  John notes that some of the people,  thrilled with the miracle of feeding more than five thousand in the middle of a field, wanted to take him by force and proclaim him king.  Jesus would have none of that.  Oh, Jesus is a king, alright–King of kings and Lord of lords, to be exact (Revelation 19:16).  At the present time, his kingship and kingdom is invisible, but one day it will be visible for all to see (Philippians 2:9-11; Revelation 19:11-21).  Until then, we walk by faith and not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7).

Having dismissed the crowd, and eluding the approaching abductors, Jesus went to a mountain to pray.  All three gospels record this.  We must never forget that Jesus was constantly seeking time to commune with his heavenly Father.  The gospels only record a few of those times, but it is obvious that our Lord sought out lonely places to pray on a regular basis.  In this case, he had prayed all night, as Matthew and Mark report that it was in the fourth watch that he came walking on the water to his disciples, who had been rowing against the wind all night.  The fourth watch was between 3:00 and 6:00 a.m., Roman Standard Time.

Well, as was stated, Jesus, who saw his disciples struggling, approached them walking on the sea.  They cried out for fear but he said, “Take heart; it is I.  Do not be afraid.”  These are crucial words for us to hear from our Lord.  We must learn to take heart, to have courage, not as something we muster up, but as confidence in our Deliverer and Friend.  He reminds us, “It is I.”  The Lord’s most precious promise to us is that He will be with us (Exodus 3:12).  Matthew records Peter’s attempt to walk on the water to Jesus.  We all know the story: he does fine while he is walking towards (read: looking at) Jesus, but when he takes his eyes off of Christ and instead beholds the wind and the waves, he begins to sink.  “Lord, save me,” he cries, and, of course, the Lord does.  So here we learn to never take our eyes off the Lord so to watch the storms instead; we shall sink every time.  There are too many storms in this life, too many trials, too many temptations, too many doubts and fears.  The flesh, the world, and the devil will not let us pass by easily.  But if we keep our eyes on Jesus, knowing that the One who died and rose again is the One who loves us and reaches out to save us, we too shall confess over and over, “Truly, you are the Son of God.”

Author: The Reformed Baptist

My name is Stephen Taylor, ordained Baptist minister of eighteen years pastoral experience with a Ph.D. in Historical Theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Better than that, I am married to a godly woman, Karla, who has been very patient with me since 1989. I have two daughters, both of whom I homeschooled for extended periods of time, who became godly young women, and who ran off and married godly young men, all of which is very proper. The oldest daughter has even seen fit to bless me with a grandson and a granddaughter, and my youngest daughter with a grandson, all three of whom are bundles of exceeding joy. As you can see, I am quite blessed. This website is dedicated to helping people grow in the wisdom and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ through the gift of writing that the Lord has given to me. It is specifically about helping His people grow in godliness, the theme you see repeated above. I write devotions with this aim and hope that they might be of some help to God’s people. Full disclosure: I am of a Reformed bent, meaning that my understanding of Scripture is primarily informed by the Reformers and their successors of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. However, as a student of church history and theology, I strive to remain true to that teaching handed down once for all unto the saints through every age of the Church. I like to think of myself as a “catholic” Christian, as the Reformers thought of themselves. At any rate, feel free to read, pray, and contact me if you wish, or correct me if need be. As you can see, I tend to follow the church year. Of course, I make no special claims about these devotions. I know very well that others have written better and plumbed the depths of God’s word with greater insight. But if my musings help someone draw closer to the Lord, well then, I have my reward. Blessings to you and may the God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ speak to you that word which He knows you especially need to hear. Grace & peace, Stephen Taylor

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