And early in the morning he came walking toward them on the sea. But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, saying, ‘It is a ghost!’ And they cried out in fear.” vss. 25-26Matthew 14:22-26
This story of Jesus walking on the sea is both well-known and mystifying to believers. Thomas Jefferson found it unhelpful for the rational mind and did not include it in his cut-and-paste version of the New Testament. That inclination is probably not uncommon, and even if we don’t tear this story out of the bible, we wonder why it’s there. The problem with excising the miraculous portions of scripture is that we end up deleting the most interesting passages and missing amazing truths. The point of this story is not that Jesus could walk on water. We can debate that until the cows come home. It’s the reaction of the disciples that makes the story come alive. The sighting happened in the middle of a violent storm and they were already afraid. And when they saw Jesus they assumed they were seeing a ghost, they cried out in fear! They were quite a crew. They’d already seen him raise the dead, heal the sick, cast out demons, and feed thousands, why wouldn’t he show up in their time of need? We’re like that. We believe all kinds of things about Jesus, at least we say we do, and then when he shows up to save our necks, we doubt, and imagine it isn’t him!
Thought for the Day: What terrifies me?