Marvelous, Miraculous

January 22 

Marvelous, Miraculous

Today’s Scripture Readings: Psalms 14:1-7 | Genesis 44:1 – 45:28 | Matthew 14:13-36 | Proverbs 4:11-13

Today’s Scripture Focus: Matthew 14:13-36

“Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, ‘Truly You are the Son of God’” (Matthew 14:33).

The gospels are filled with the marvelous and miraculous things that Jesus did. Those who grew up with these stories can sometimes become immune to the awe-struck wonder they must have produced in the disciples and in the observing crowds.

I find it interesting that these miracles happen in the course of Jesus trying to get away for some quiet time. “Jesus withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place” (13). Working through the grief of the loss of John the Baptist, he rightly sought a quiet place. Yet the crowd would not leave him alone: “the crowds followed him on foot” (14).

Yet, in spite of his intention to find a quiet place, Jesus responds to the crowd with compassion and spends the day healing the sick—a day of the marvelous, the miraculous. But there was more to come.

As evening approached, the disciples urged Jesus to send away the crowd. Jesus wanted to stretch the faith of the disciples, so he said to them: “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.”

The disciples marveled at such a request, “we have only five loaves of bread and two fish.” It seemed an impossible task.

Yet it was a simple matter for Jesus to feed the Five Thousand with the available bread and fish—there were even basketfuls of food left over.

Jesus sent off the disciples by boat, and he finally found the quiet place on a mountainside to be by himself and to pray.

Then he walked on water, scaring the disciples half to death: “Take courage, It is I. Don’t be afraid.” Impetuous Peter tried to follow Jesus by walking on the water. He started well, but eventually lost sight of Jesus for the wind and the wave. Jesus rescued Peter and encouraged his faith: “You of little faith, why do you doubt?”

In all of it, the disciples were beginning to realize just who Jesus is. The one who does these marvelous, miraculous things must truly be the Son of God (33).

Compassionate Jesus, Son of God, meet me in my need today. The wind and the waves threaten to overwhelm me, help me to keep focused on you and follow you. Strengthen my faith. Be with me today. Amen.

About pastorjeffsneighborhood

Born and raised in Minnesota, I have served in churches in Minnesota, Ohio, Oregon and California. I am a graduate of Crown College (MN) and George Fox Evangelical Seminary (OR). I have also done additional graduate studies in New Testament Studies at the Center for Advanced Theological Studies at Fuller Theological Seminary (CA). I am also a graduate of the College of Prayer. Having served as the Academic Dean and Program Director at Horizon Institute of Los Angeles for several years, I have returned to the pastorate and serve as Pastor of Big Trees Community Bible Church in Arnold, CA.
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