Matthew 14:22 (NKJV) Immediately Jesus made His disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side, while He sent the multitudes away. 23 And when He had sent the multitudes away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. Now when evening came, He was alone there. 24 But the boat was now in the middle of the sea,[a] tossed by the waves, for the wind was contrary. 25 Now in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went to them, walking on the sea. 26 And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out for fear. 27 But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.”
In Matthew 14, Jesus ordered His disciples into a boat that was headed for a storm. The Bible says He constrained them to get into a ship. In other words, He insisted that they get into the ship even though it was headed for troubled waters; it would be tossed about like a bottle in the East River. And where was Jesus? He was up in the mountains overlooking the sea, praying for them not to fail in the test He knew (In His Omniscience) was coming. The Lord knows about our test also people of God!
Later He came to them, walking on the water (see Matthew 14:25). But not one disciple recognized Him! They did not expect to see the Lord out on the water in the middle of a storm. Never, ever did they expect Him to be with them or even near them in a tempest. Do you ever look for the Lord in your storms of life?
At least one disciple should have recognized what was happening and said, “Look, friends, Jesus said He would never leave us or forsake us. He sent us on this mission; we are in the center of His will. Maybe even remember the passage in Psalm 37:23 “the steps of a righteous man are ordered by the Lord”. At least one should have been saying Look again, That’s our Lord! He is right here! We’ve never once been out of His sight!” Don’t forget family of God, not everyone has the spiritual Vision to see the Lord in times of Storm!
There was one primary lesson to be learned in this passage. It was a simple lesson, not some deep, mystical, earth-shattering event. Jesus wanted to be trusted as their Lord, in every storm of life. He simply wanted them to maintain their joy and confidence, even in the blackest hours of trial. Just one simple but very important lesson! Don’t miss the Lord in times of your storms people of God.
Point to ponder: The greatest danger we all face is not being able to see Jesus in our troubles—instead, we see ghosts. In that critical moment of fear when the night is darkest and the storm is the angriest, Jesus always draws near to us, to reveal Himself as the Lord of our troubles, and the Savior in times of the storm.
Pastor James Baker, Jr.