Why did you ask?…

Then he got in the boat, his disciples with him. 24 The next thing they knew, they were in a severe storm. Waves were crashing into the boat – and he was sound asleep! 25 They roused him, pleading, “Master, save us! We’re going down!” 26 Jesus reprimanded them. “Why are you such cowards, such faint-hearts?” Then he stood up and told the wind to be silent, the sea to quiet down: “Silence!” The sea became smooth as glass. 27 The men rubbed their eyes, astonished. “What’s going on here? Wind and sea come to heel at his command!”

 

Jesus is on a mission.  It is not completed.  He has no fear.  He is exhausted, he sleeps while the disciples work the boat to the other side of the lake.  A storm rises, threatens to sink the boat.  They focus on the storm and fill with fear.  The disciples know who to turn to for help.  They wake Jesus to say they are sinking.  Question is why did they wake him, what did they expect him to do?  Help bail water?

 

They did not wake him to keep him safe…the statement was ‘Master save us.’  US, self

 

He reprimands, he has no fear, he showcases their lack of trust in the Father.  Then he stands, speaks and the sea and wind are calm. 

 

How do they react?  With relief?  No, they ask  who is this?  Why did they ask him?  What did they expect?  Is this an example of ‘knowing’ but not ‘believing’?  Knowing you say you will; I ask, you deliver, then I say in amazement, how did that happen?…

 

What did they expect him to do?  Why did they ask?  What is behind the amazement?  Have you ever found yourself in this place?  I have…

Pursue life…

Matthew 8:18-23

 When Jesus saw that a curious crowd was growing by the minute, he told his disciples to get him out of there to the other side of the lake.  As they left, a religion scholar asked if he could go along. “I’ll go with you, wherever,” he said.  Jesus was curt: “Are you ready to rough it? We’re not staying in the best inns, you know.”    Another follower said, “Master, excuse me for a couple of days, please. I have my father’s funeral to take care of.”    Jesus refused. “First things first. Your business is life, not death. Follow me. Pursue life.” 

Jesus notes a large crowd growing and makes arrangements to leave??!!

He notes to one:  We’re not staying in the best inns, we are roughing it.

To another with a funeral of a parent to take care of: First things first. Your business is life, not death.  Follow me.  Pursue life. 

Our self would be fed, our ego specifically, if large crowds followed us and they were growing.  Jesus left…

We want home, hearth, security, if on the road, decent accommodations.  He would guarantee none of that to a religion scholar who asked to follow.

We take the obligation to bury our parents seriously, he said following him was first…

The final words were: Pursue life. 

Do you see the teaching here?  Do you see that ego never fits in God’s kingdom?  If the temptation to elevate self is evident, leave…

Do you see we are not attached to the earth?  We are not to look to it for security, comfort.  Our objectives are to follow Christ regardless of where it takes us.

Do you see we are not told not to take care of obligations, but the obligation that comes first is to follow him.  He is life, we are to pursue life.  He taught life, we are to pursue life.

We do not pursue that which would feed the ego, we do not pursue earthly comforts, we do not place perceived obligations to things of this life first.

 We pursue life.  We follow Him.

Our Response…

 

Matthew 8:14-18

By this time they were in front of Peter’s house. On entering, Jesus found Peter’s mother-in-law sick in bed, burning up with fever. 15 He touched her hand and the fever was gone. No sooner was she up on her feet than she was fixing dinner for him. 16 That evening a lot of demon-afflicted people were brought to him. He relieved the inwardly tormented. He cured the bodily ill. 17 He fulfilled Isaiah’s well-known sermon: He took our illnesses, He carried our diseases.

Jesus’ touch made Peter’s mom well.  He did not ask What do you want?  When she got up she served…

We have access to that touch, our response should be to serve…

Jesus was fulfilling Isaiah, he took our illnesses, he carried our diseases.  This is available for all time…our response is crucial, Do we reach out and accept it, receive it?  How do we respond? To serve or continue on our way?

Those illnesses were mental as well as physical…

Simple faith…

Matthew 8:5-13

As Jesus entered the village of Capernaum, a Roman captain came up in a panic and said,”Master, my servant is sick. He can’t walk. He’s in terrible pain.” Jesus said, “I’ll come and heal him.””Oh, no,” said the captain. “I don’t want to put you to all that trouble. Just give the order and my servant will be fine.  I’m a man who takes orders and gives orders. I tell one soldier, ‘Go,’ and he goes; to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes; to my slave, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”  Taken aback, Jesus said, “I’ve yet to come across this kind of simple trust in Israel, the very people who are supposed to know all about God and how he works.  This man is the vanguard of many outsiders who will soon be coming from all directions – streaming in from the east, pouring in from the west, sitting down at God’s kingdom banquet alongside Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.  Then those who grew up ‘in the faith’ but had no faith will find themselves out in the cold, outsiders to grace and wondering what happened.”Then Jesus turned to the captain and said, “Go. What you believed could happen has happened.” At that moment his servant became well.

We have an example of believing demonstrated by the captain.  More than believing in, he understood giving and receiving orders and was able to make the transference to Jesus giving and receiving orders. We can choose to believe the disease process will complete itself, or we can  choose to believe the power that Jesus had to interrupt that process and eliminate the disease itself.  What is our choice?

During Jesus  time, the people had evidence of his ability to heal, almost as much as the evidence that disease cripples and kills.  They made a choice to stay home and allow the disease to continue or go find Jesus and have it stopped.  The captain chose the healing that was made available to them.  We can do the same today.  Jesus noted the hindrance those who had been brought up in the faith had that kept them from exercising the faith. Rather, they would question and argue ‘religious’ points.  He stated that there would be many from outside the faith, who would come and become a part of God’s kingdom. They are not held back by tradition, ritual, how it ‘should’ be.   They come simply, seeking the touch of God and He rewards their faith.

On a continuum of 0-10 with 0 being weak and 10 being strong, where would you place your faith?   How strong is your faith?  Do you believe or believe in…?  These are the questions I ask myself almost daily.  Move along the continuum to strong rather than weak.  Have a strong day, one filled with faith…