Sunday, September 18, 2016

The Other 11

But when he saw the wind,he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me.” Matthew 13:30

So there he was, scampering out of the boat, eyes all aglow with excitement. This was his big moment, his 15 minutes of fame, the signature moment that would stamp him unequivocally as "The One."

I can see him, a smile on his face and a bit of a swagger as he navigated the waves. He looked back at the other 11 huddled in the boat.

He thinks, They're talking to each other, probably giving me my props, after all this time.

Oh, Lord, there he goes again.

He won't ever learn.

He just won't leave well enough alone. 
Ya know, we are gonna have to hear about this for a long time.

With each step he gains more confidence and courage. He may have even done a bit of a dance as he skittered across the waves.

Jesus must be REALLY impressed.

A strong gust of wind, then another and the rain picks up. The waves get higher.

Where is Jesus, I can't see him? Help, help.......

We've all heard this story or a reference to it in some form or fashion. We're told Jesus chastised poor Peter for his lack of faith. 
Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, 

“O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. Matthew 14: 31-32

I have another take.

First, I don't believe for a moment that Jesus was being critical. I believe he was asking Peter,

What happened? You were doing great and then the wind came up and you fell to pieces. Work on your faith and you'll be fine.

Okay, I haven't been struck by lightening so let me share what I believe is the sub plot in this story.

No one got out of the boat but Peter.

The other 11? They cowered, whimpered and looked out across the sea in awe.

Better to hang on tight to what I know then run the risk of losing it all..........

Jesus was a great teacher. He used parables and examples and stories to make a point. 
I think Jesus knew that Peter was going to stumble a bit and he knew when he led him back to the boat.

When he questioned Peter's faith it wasn't to berate him, it was also meant to ask the other 11 why hadn't they joined him?

Faith is a funny thing. It manifests itself in all sorts of different ways.

The successful people I know?

They scamper over the side of the boat each and every morning and sometimes they make it to the shore and sometimes the wind blows them off course.

One thing is for certain. Each and every morning they climb in the boat and head out to sea, ready for whatever is headed their way.

The rest of us?

We're often like the other 11. We'll stay in the boat and take our chances.

But every moment of every day,we have a chance to jump out of the boat to walk on water