So after the feeding of the 5000, as Jesus commands, the disciples hop in the boat and head toward Capernaum. They face a trial in the boat, not as punishment, but to breakthrough the self-sufficiency that was so prominent in their lives as exhibited at the miracle of the fish and loaves. Nothing like paddling through another violent storm for 12 hours, without God, to only go 3 or 4 miles, to bring you to the end of your rope. I’m sure they were exhausted, confused, and a bit angry.
But, something changes here as Jesus appears to them walking on the water. Once Jesus identifies himself, they welcome Him into the boat. There is something about inviting Jesus into their circumstances, welcoming Him even, that seems to make the difference. It is as if they learned the lesson, self-sufficiency is insufficient, and that it is so much better to invite Jesus from the beginning, not as the last resort.
This as a radical call to intimate relationship. Jesus is all about the relationship, way ahead of changing any set of circumstances. He wants to be with us. And, it doesn’t matter if the circumstances are surrounded by shame, anger, fear, confusion, etc. He’s happy to step right into a rickety, self-sufficient sinking boat, wiping the water off his face, coughing it out of his own lungs, to get in the boat with us…to have us welcome and count on his presence and participation in whatever we are going through.
And this time, it seemed like they got it, like the disciples finally had a breakthrough and could see Jesus, not only as far off God who can do miracles, but a friend who loved them, pursued them in spite of themselves, enjoys being with them, and won’t ever let us buy into the lie of self-sufficiency.
Join us for this sermon Charlie preached at All Saints Church, Morehead City, NC on 8/5/18.
To learn more about All Saints Church, please visit their website at: https://www.allsaintsanglicanchurch.net/welcome.