Thursday, October 16, 2014

Disciples Fail When They Take Their Eyes Off of Their Teacher

Scripture: Matthew 14:30-31
But seeing the wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!” Immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and took hold of him, and *said to him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?”

Insights: These verses inform us that Peter took his eyes off of Jesus and began to sink in the water.  In Peter’s situation there was a very literal storm of rain, wind and waves.  We do not know what specifically distracted him from his focus on Jesus, but something did.  Literally, as soon as his eyes were off of Jesus, he began to sink.  We are not walking on literal water, but we face just as many storms in life.  Our storms can consist of health issues, financial issues, parental issues and the list could go on and on.  The point is Jesus desires for us to be abiding disciples of Him.  The only way we can fulfill this desire of Jesus is for our eyes to be on Him and Him only.  Brother Laurence, a monk in the middle ages, called this Practicing the Presence of God.  It is about learning how to be in such intimacy with our Lord that we immediately recognize when we are living life in contradiction to His will.  Whenever we are in opposition to His will, then we are not experiencing His presence and we will begin to sink in the midst of our storm.  This picture of keeping our eyes on Jesus is all about abiding in Him.  It is about us, His disciples, learning to live our lives in and through Him.  He is our everything.  With Him we can walk on water, but apart from Him we can do nothing.  Beloved, let us keep our eyes on Jesus, to His praise and glory!  Let me give you one last thought about these verses today.  Notice how Peter gets a rebuke from Jesus.  Also remember there is a storm raging around them.  I think Peter later told the disciples what Jesus said to him and the Holy Spirit brought it to Matthew’s mind when he was inspired to write this gospel.  I don’t think the other disciples heard the rebuke.  As I watch this scene unfold I believe Jesus pulled Peter close to Him and asked that painful question because Peter had been walking by faith.  I think the rebuke was a very redeeming and personal moment between Jesus and Peter.  I believe it was full of love and grace.  It was a special moment for Peter.

1.  Have you presently taken your eyes off of Jesus?
2.  Are you willing to repent and cry out to Jesus in order to experience His grace?

Prayer: Father, forgive me when I walk in my own sinful rebellion because of fear and doubt.  The storms of life can be very intense, but Lord I need You, as I always needs You, in the midst of these dark times.  Lord, protect me from myself and let me not falter by taking my eyes off of you.  Amen.

No comments:

Post a Comment