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News and views from the German-language region of Europe

August 29, 2014

"O you of little faith"

Filed under Sabbath Thoughts

We all know the story of Jesus walking on the Sea of Galilee. After Jesus had fed the 5000, he "made His disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side, while He sent the multitudes away" (Matthew 14:22). After He sent the multitudes away, Jesus stayed to pray and was only ready to join His disciples after nightfall. By then their boat was "in the middle of the sea".

When we realize that the Sea of Galilee is 21 km long and 13 km wide and the disciples had been underway for several hours, you understand that they were not just a few meters from the shore. They also were now facing unfavorable wind conditions. That was the scene, as Jesus approaching the boat, having "walked" not just a few steps, but several kilometres on the water!

We all agree that walking on water is humanly impossible! But Peter said to Jesus: "Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water" (verse 28). Jesus' answer was short and to the point: "Come!" Peter received a clear, direct confirmation from his Lord: Yes, come, you can do what is humanly impossible!

We know what happened next. Peter really started walking on the water. But soon he began to doubt: "When he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, Lord, save me! And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” (verses 30-31).

Yes, poor Peter, some will think. He doubted.

Like Peter we, too, have a clear, direct confirmation from our heavenly Father. "Come," He says in calling us to the kingdom of God. His will is that we make it! Under the inspiration of the holy spirit, the apostle Paul wrote: "Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ" (Philippians 1:6). The author of Hebrews tells us that God's promise to Joshua as he prepared to enter the Promised Land also applies to us on our journey to the kingdom of God: "I will never leave you nor forsake you" (Hebrews 13:5).

And like Peter we, too, sometimes have our doubts about whether we will achieve that which is humanly impossible: enter into the kingdom of God. And as was the case with Peter, Christ will not let us sink in a sea of doubt. He will stretch out His hand and catch us and say: "O you of little faith, why did you doubt?"

With these thoughts I wish everyone a rewarding Sabbath!

Paul Kieffer's blog with personal insights and news from the German-language region in Europe.


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