Most of you know, I’m a cartoonist who is serving as a pastor until the Lord fixes that. I’ve drawn a graphic novel for the web called “Rabbi Encounters”. You might enjoy reading chapter five, “Surf” (click the title to go there). It’s my rendition of the events that we’ll be reading this Sunday as we continue our study of Matthew – 14:22-36.
I believe this is an account of something that really happened. I also believe this actual event can read as a parable – a metaphor for a life of following Jesus.
The disciples follow Jesus’ instructions to get in the boat and go. Obeying Jesus, they find themselves caught in a storm and being (literally) tormented by the waves. What metaphor can you see in that? How does this correspond with your own life of faith? What can be learned?
When Jesus shows up the disciples are terrified. Why? To your knowledge, has anything like this happened before in the Bible, where someone has walked on water? Do you think any of the disciples expected to see Jesus out there? In what ways can you see a parallel of this in your own expectations about God and what He’s up to?
What do you think, was Peter right or wrong to ask Jesus to command him to walk on the water? Scholars seem to be divided about it. Do you think his lack of faith began when he had to have proof that it was really Jesus, or was it a bold move of faith to claim participation in the miracle?
When Peter is focused on the rising surf, he begins to sink. The lessons there are obvious. Something else to think about is: what was Jesus’ first response (not words necessarily) to Peter’s predicament? How does his response encourage you when you remember times where you’ve had “little faith”?
Those are just some things to consider before Sunday. What I’d really like you to do is read this whole section and read it as metaphor – use your imagination. What is the boat, the water, the storm, the destination? What can those be portraying to us about life and faith and most importantly, Jesus?
Hope to see you this Sunday!