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Friday, October 14, 2016

The Storms of Life (Matthew 14:22-24)

"Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. After he had dismissed them, he went on a mountainside by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, but the boat was already a considerable distance from the land and buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it."

On the heels of feeding a multitude (and His disciples) with five barley loaves and two small fish, Jesus deliberately sent His disciples onto the sea in the path of a storm without His accompanying them. 


He didn't feed them only to see them drown.

Some things about Jesus are unknowable, can't be experienced except during the rising winds of life. Psalm 77:19 prophecies of the One whose "way was in the sea" and whose "path was in the great waters", and whose "footsteps were not known." Jesus sent his disciples ahead of him to Bethsaida via raging winds upon a stormy sea so that they would encounter Him as the One who "rules the raging of the sea when its waves rise" and "stills them" (Psalm 89:9).


Why storms? So that the disciples could identify with the Psalmist's words "Then they cry out to the Lord in their trouble, and He brings them out of their distresses. He calms the storm so that its waves are still" (Psalm 107:28-29). In order to experience the Lord's calming of the sea the disciples had to experience the coming of a storm. Today's disciples are no different in their experience.

For the child of God storms are unavoidable--but profitable, for they reveal the strength or weakness of our faith in God. Jesus put them in the boat to "go ahead of him to Bethsaida" and then roused a storm to test their courage to trust Him to get them to their destination in spite of the storm's interruption. We are just like Jesus' disciples. We panic when we look at the rising waves and listen to the raging wind. Faith, however, sees Jesus walking toward us just as He did with his disciples. Wherever we are is where He is.

Questions for today's Chronological Bible reading:
Mark 6:45-56; Matthew 14:22-36; John 6:16-24

  • Why do the disciples have such difficulty trusting Jesus?
  • What happens when the disciples operate out of fear rather than from faith?
  • At what point does Peter's fear end and faith begin?
  • What mystifies the crowd when Jesus and His disciples arrive in Bethsaida?
John 6:25-29
  • Read 2 Chron. 16:9 and note what God looks for in a man or a woman.
  • What parallel does Jesus make between Himself and how the LORD fed those living in the wilderness during Moses' day?
  • Read John 20:31 and state John's purpose for writing his gospel.
  • What does Jesus want the disciples to understand about Himself and what does Jesus promise those who simply believe in Him?
  • How does Jesus compare the manna in the wilderness and the Bread of Life?
  • What does the Pharisees think Jesus means by His statement about partaking of Him?
Turning truth into prayer
Thank the Lord Jesus that He has power over the raging wind and stormy seas of life. Thank Him that He has the power to get you to your destination.