In Lifelines: The Storm of Direction we saw Jesus withdraw from a crowd that wanted to make Him king. Well, that was only the first storm in John 6! There are three more, and we learn a great deal from each of them. When we encounter them we will all need lifelines.
Lifelines: Delay Can Be Normal
According to John’s account, after the 5,000 were miraculously fed, the disciples:
- Gathered twelve baskets of leftovers
- Got in the boat
- Headed to the other side
Now, all details are important. But each Gospel writer includes or excludes details according to his writing plan and his intended audience. Matthew and Mark both tell us Jesus told the disciples to get in the boat. That’s important in light of the storm the disciples would encounter on the Sea of Galilee.
Since the disciples were acting in accordance with Jesus’ (God’s) command, they were definitely doing the will of God. Right? Then why did they row right into a storm that kept them from getting to the other side? That is where Jesus sent them. Isn’t it true that doing what God commands means we will have an easy time? Aren’t we exempt from delays like this?
That isn’t true, but many Christians mistakenly believe it is. A great deal of questionable theology is in the media. Test it all, including this blog, by the Word!
Lifelines: You Are Never Forgotten
Only Mark includes another significant detail of this incredible night. Jesus sent the disciples out. He turned aside to pray. The storm came up and the disciples were about half way across the Sea of Galilee, about three miles from where they started. Additionally, it was between 3 & 6 in the morning. And here is the beautiful thing Mark records:
Seeing them straining at the oars, for the wind was against them, at about the fourth watch of the night He came to them, walking on the sea; and He intended to pass by them.
See it? Twelve followers of Christ were doing exactly what Jesus told them to do. They were:
- In the dark
- In the middle of a storm
- In difficult, even perilous circumstances
Jesus saw them! He knew where they were and He knew they were working hard. They could barely see the front of the boat but He could see through the storm. Think about that! What a wonderful Savior we serve. He did not send them out and forget about them. And He does all of that for you and me. No matter the difficulties we encounter, we are never forgotten. As He came to them, He comes to us in the middle of our challenges to bring His peace.
Lifelines: Peace is Yours
The differences between the Gospel accounts is an interesting study. Each eyewitness was impressed by different things and remembered different details. Reading one against the other gives us the full picture. Matthew and Mark note that Jesus calmed the storm. John doesn’t mention it. His view is Jesus calmed the disciples! And both pictures are accurate! Jesus blesses us with His presence. And as our Prince of Peace, His presence calms my harrowing hardships and my halting heart.