Jesus is “the way the truth and the life” and has opened the door, torn the curtain, made the way as the Way, and now has given us His Spirit… And the Spirit is joyfully obligated to finish the deal. As the Father and Son and Holy Spirit dance the dance of pleasure and joy, victory and look forward to the wedding feast – when all of this comes together, they cheerfully, joyfully, together, stride with us and in us, for us and through us… (Mk 15:38)

…believe the One who was sent… John 6:29

This is why the work of the kingdom is to believe in the one who was sent. We isolate this to Jesus, but it is not only so. Yes, Jesus was sent and dwelled among us, and we can know God‘s heart and intentions and gracious and gentle and humble way through the One who laid down His glory and walked with us in suffering (Heb 2), and it is in Him, who we are to believe and be saved. But there is another One who has been sent. The Holy spirit. And it is (also) work to believe in this One who is sent. We must work that work, taking time in the quiet, becoming more acquainted with God’s truth, praying quietly as to hear, listen, and learn, we must listen to the voices closely and pray for discernment and insight and wisdom in guidance – to hear and know this One sent, the Spirit of God, in us (1Jn 4:1).

We must trust this truth to be real whether seemingly off in the vague distance or concrete real, the fact is, the Holy Spirit is among us and in us and takes pleasure in being with us and connecting us to the Father, enabling us to harmonize with the Trinity - the Father, Son and Holy Spirit - that our voices, empowered by His voice, join Their voices in that altogether sound. (Rev 5)

The Spirit tells us of the Father’s love, reminds us, keeps us, escorts us, into Abba’s arms

John 7:37-39 - Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. 38Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” 39By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.

John 14:16-17, 26 - And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Advocate to be with you forever - the Spirit of truth. The world cannot receive Him, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him. But you do know Him, for He abides with you and will be in you… But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have told you.

John 15:26 - When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father--the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father--He will testify about Me.

John 16:7, 13 - But I tell you the truth, it is for your benefit that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you…. However, when the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all truth. For He will not speak on His own, but He will speak what He hears, and He will declare to you what is to come.

Acts 1:4; 2:1-4, 33 - And while they were gathered together, He commanded them: "Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift the Father promised, which you have heard Me discuss… 1When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. 2Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. 4All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues a as the Spirit enabled them… Exalted, then, to the right hand of God, He has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and has poured out what you now see and hear.

The devotion of God: the Holy Spirit - Go… Matt 28:18-19; Acts 8:26-38

The promise of Jesus to send the Spirit was another proof of God’s devotion, that He could be trusted, and in being trustworthy, would show Himself as being One to whom we could, can, entrust ourselves - eternally and temporally, that is daily, moment to moment.

The coming of the Spirit in Acts 2 reveals to us God’s loving intentions for His children - that Jesus was telling the truth when He said “i will not leave you or forsake you…”, and “I will not leave you as orphans”, and “ peace I give to you… I do not give as the world gives…”

We must be careful to not be duped into thinking that the Holy Spirit is so mysterious that there is no way to know who He is, what He is doing, or understand His movements. But, in fact, though His movements and ways are mysterious, He desires to be known and heard and followed - and with our cooperation -

● Guides, leads, corrects - Gal 5:1,13,22

● Philip - Acts 8:26-38 - prompted by the Lord, went on a journey, as he went he was led by the Spirit to the side of one with he was to share - God already there working, gives Philip permission to join the work.

● Peter - Acts 10 – entranced in prayer, the Spirit led Peter to Cornelius, where they are waiting - God already there and working

● Paul - Acts 16:6-10 - to the mountains Paul would go if left to His own, but the Spirit would lead him to a place where there some are waiting - God already there and working - with a greater more expansive and inclusive plan in mind: a strategy to reach the world, to expand the kingdom exponentially not linear

Reminds, instructs

● “Abba Father”- Mark 14:36; Romans 8:15; Gal 4:6

● “(you) are a child of God” - Rom 8:12-17

Reveals, provokes - Acts 16:9

● The Spirit will bring up to us

○ Names and faces - of people to remember and for whom to pray

○ Circumstances - we find ourselves in that God is trying to guide in and through and to see the significance our being in - (remembering) that we are His representatives

○ Insight - little clues, hints, metaphors, examples - to help us better understand or gain insight and discernment in His moving and intentions for us in this moment

○ Conformations - affirming us that the promptings we have sensed are from Him

Prays on our behalf - Romans 8:26-27

● Continually advocating and interceding

● Praying for us what we would be cannot, because we know not

Gives us words, will speak for you - so that we need not worry - Mark 13:11

Is faithful even when we are faithless… 2Tim:2-13; 1Cor 1:9: Phil 1:6; 2Thes 3:3; Heb 10:23

Immediately, Jesus reached out His hand and caught Him

The reaching and catching, preceded the declaration of lack of faith

If had not come first, Peter would have been shamed and sheepishly slinked to the back of the boat (guilt ridden and ashamed)

Instead, Jesus, having revealed, first, His otherness, then His saving intentions - as a loving friend - evoked from the men, the proper response, the response God delights in, not fright and distance, but from near, astonished, humble, heartfelt and spontaneous, worship. As Jesus is BOTH, the divine Other that commands our worship AND the loving Brother and Friend who saves. And this, is His devotion to us.

Because Jesus’ “rebuke”” came second, it was meant to be an honest question meant to console and provoke further understanding - greater faith and trust

  • In other words, saying this while in Jesus’ grasp shows Peter His care for Him has nothing to do with the size or amount of faith or his position of doubt

  • Instead, it is an instructive moment of truth of the condition of Peter’s heart and mind in regard to truly knowing (Jesus) and trusting that knowing

  • Remembering contextually, that the Jews always looked for a demonstration of power for proof of God and proof of God’s favor, or something or someone being of or from God

  • Jesus means to dispel the notion of what is proof of God’s favor, concern, or working - that it is not that “I (AM)” would do something for you, but that “I AM, ‘Abba’” would be here with you”

Fear, prove it - power/otherness - God -

“It is not good for man to be alone “(Gen 2:18), not because man/Adam was alone, as Adam was not alone in the truest, or most basic, sense of the word, but because man could not truly and fully relate to the otherness of God.

God‘s power is a demonstration of His otherness, His being other than, greater than, His being incomprehensible and unrelatable, as in, God is outside of the realm of relating or what is most necessary in relationship, as He is One who cannot be related to in the human/divine sense.

This is (also) why Jesus had to join us in our flesh, as He had “...a body prepared…” for him (Heb 10:5-10), to come and do life with us, as one of us. So that we could have a relationship, that we could relate to God, because He has made Himself relatable and came to relate. Knowing this, Jesus in essence, laid down his otherness, to come to be part of mankind, to be with mankind, (with) one another, as another. (Phil 2:5-8)

So, although according to Col 1:15-23; Heb 1:1-4; 2:14-18, Jesus was “the radiance of God and the perfect representation of God here on earth”, Jesus did this by taking the “form of a man” and became a man, because, the otherness of God, His divine Self, was so unrelatable.

Jesus proving himself to Peter by power, would certainly reveal his otherness. But, it was Jesus’ overlooking Peter’s lack of faith, His reaching out to catch and save anyway, and then, His climbing into the boat with Peter, that made Jesus’ God-nature safe and brought the divine otherness into relationship – His otherness, came into one-another, with the others.

You see, here’s the deal…

The purpose at the heart of Jesus’ mission, was to bridge the gap between man and the divine Otherness. And a mere demonstration of His divine power to Peter, would have only reinforced the separation between God and man.

It is in Jesus’ loving wisdom to just merely flit away the veil of flesh momentarily, giving just a wink of His divine power, to Peter, that assured Peter (of who He was), by revealing and proving to Peter His divinity and with it His divine otherness, but (wisely), putting it quickly away, Jesus (humbly) allowed Peter to be distracted from that revealed glory, by the chaos around him, which allowed Jesus to establish and reinforce the true reason for His being here, revealing the true nature of God's heart toward man: that it is God the Father‘s desire to bless His children with the enjoyment of knowing who He is, knowing Him! That we can know Him, whose we are and who we are, and that God, the divine Otherness, would not merely visit man, but truly become a man, by taking on our flesh, and make His dwelling among us, not just walking on the water, but getting in the water. Climbing together. As friends.

So Jesus progression from the phantom ghost that terrified, to the climbing friend who saves and stays, is a microcosm of God’s[1] loving and faithful intentions for us and His work in us. From a distant God who is other and scary and incomprehensible, right through to the friend who climbs in and embraces each man.

Manifest wisdom and his progressive revelation to mankind over time and to men themselves.

● God who is scary

● God who is drawing near in an attempt to allay fears

● God who is powerful and other - from whom I maintain a respectful distance

● God who is near and reaches out, catches, forgives, and saves - Who penetrates my distance

● God who remains and is a brother - Who reveals to me, not only His divine otherness, but His gracious likeness

● God of love, a friend, who sticks closer than a brother - Who ignores my occasional desire for distance and remains and fights through my feelings and failings

● God of grace, faithfulness, of majestic glory, and yet, beckons, come - Who is worthy of worship, adoration, praise and thanks. Who is glorious and powerful and wonderful and kind…

● The God of wisdom and love - Who knows that the best way to be in relationship is not to just wield His power and do everything for us, but to join us in the water and do everything with us.

That is the kingdom of our Glorious God and our loving and faithful Father - the divine other, brother and friend - teaching us how to be like Him, that is, to love like Him - with one another, devoted

For further study: Moses went through the same basic process - Exodus 3

● Moses mysteriously chosen and living hostage in a hostile world, trained in all things world (Ex 2:2; Acts 7:20; Heb 11:23)

● Moses senses something about “his people” needing a savior and miss interprets who the savior is to be (not him, but God, using Him) (Ex 2:12; 3:7-10)... life, as it were, moves on. Later… (Ex 2:13-25; 3:1)

● Moses’s eyes are drawn… sees something strange - almost ghostly (Ex 3:2-3)

● God speaks to Moses (Ex 3:4-5)

● Moses is afraid to look, shrinks back out of fear (Ex 3:6)

● Moses doubts (Ex 3:11; 4:1, 10, 13)

● God assures and reassures (Ex 3:12-22; 4) and demonstrates His divine otherness so prove to Moses who He is, “I AM”

● Moses finally agrees (Ex 4:18)

● Moses does what God says, but doubts and fails it is forgiven; God reaches and rescues, assures and reassures (Exodus, the rest of the story, as God demonstrates power, yet, but more profoundly walks WITH Moses, as a friend)

● God speaks to Moses as a Friend (Ex 33:11; Num 12:8; Deut 34:10)

● Emboldened by God’s declaration, Moses desires to see and be closer; God acquiesces to Moses’ request and let’s Him see - a glimpse, a peek, a promise for more (Ex 33:12-23)

● Jesus, comes now, and instead of putting His hand between us and His glory, instead of speaking to us as a “man speaks to a friend”, actually comes and puts His glory down, clothes Himself with our flesh, and declares that we are His friends, and speaks to us that way.

● Not just His presence being with us (Ex 33:14), but Him, being present with us. (Isa 7:14; Psa 2:7; 85:9; John 1:14; 1John 1:1; 4:2; 2John 1:7; Col 1:15-23; Heb 1:1-4; 2:14-18; 10:5-10; Spirit in us: John 14:16-17, 26; 15:26; 16:7; Acts 1:4; 2:3-4; 1John 5:6; Rom 5:15; Gal 4:6; Eph 1:13-14)

Jesus, there, even when it doesn’t seem that way, peace | Matthew 14:22-35 (January 27th)

Vs. 24 “...they were buffeted by the wind…” or, the wind was opposed to them

● Struggle and strain

● Tired and discouraged

● Their strength, we can be sure, was sapped - it’s the fourth watch of the night

● Mark 5:48 says “...He saw they were in serious trouble…”

It is that of the world… it is opposed to us, the children of God, it buffets to the point of exhaustion and discouragement and there are times that we find ourselves in what seems like “serious trouble”

And, it’s never at a good time...

Vs. 25 “...during the the fourth watch of the night…” 3-6am

Jesus sees and goes out to them

Long day, longer night…the disciples had just returned from their own missionary journey, Jesus had just heard of John’s death and had taken to mourn Matt 14:13 "He withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place" as He sailed the crowds gathered to meet Him, “when Jesus landed and saw the large crowd, He had compassion on them and healed their sick”

and as evening approached, the disciples came to Him and said… it’s already getting late. Send the crowds away…”

He and the disciples fed them all…

After all of this, Jesus sent the disciples “ahead of Him to the other side” while He dismissed the crowds

Vs. 26 They were terrified… “ is a ghost!”

Mark 6:51-52 says that “the disciples did not understand about the loaves and fish”

  • What was to understand?

  • Jesus’ “compassion” for people (Mark 6)

  • Jesus’ power and provision

  • Jesus’ love and comfort

But, this wasn’t Jesus’ first demonstration of power…

Sometimes, it takes many times, for us to get it, to see, experience, and trust, to experience more, to trust more, that we finally entrust ourselves, to Him

Mostly, they were still misunderstanding Jesus’ intentions…

John 6:14-15 tells us “After the people saw the sign JEsus performed, they began to say, “Surely this is the Prophet who is to come into the world.” Jesus, knowing that they intended to come and make him king by force, withdrew again to a mountain by Himself”

How might we know that this is the point of misunderstanding? Even after His resurrection, before being given the Spirit, they still did not understand:

Acts 1:6 “so when the apostles were with Jesus, they kept asking him, ‘ Lord, has the time come for you to free Israel and restore our kingdom?” NLT

● Mark 4; 5; 6 Jesus had…

○ Commanded the seas and they obeyed

○ Driven out demons

○ Healed without even knowing it

○ Raised the dead

○ Sent them out with power, and, they experienced that power “that even the demons obeyed us!!”

○ Fed 5,000, really 18,000 thousand people, and the disciples were part of that, too!!

Do we believe God for who He is? Will we trust Him to do what He promises? How do we know God? He IS devoted to us… and yet we doubt. And, He knows this and sees and comes and calls and beckons and receives and saves… anyway

● Jesus’ approach is

○ Missed - they did not expect Him to arrive in this manner

○ Mistaken, misunderstood, and misinterpreted - what they believed about God determined how they saw Jesus - and so it does not appear to be Him

● Could it be that Jesus’ appearing in the midst of our circumstance may not occur in the way we expect Him to appear?

○ They knew He was going to meet them there

○ They expected Him

○ They trusted this to be so and would have assumed His being there

○ But they missed it, anyway

Just like us:

● We know that He will meet us

● We expect Him to do so

● We trust this to be so and assume His being there

● Can it be though, that when it seems as though he is far from us, or even when He does “arrive”, it is not in the way we anticipated, and so we are “terrified”, and He is

○ Missed

○ Mistaken, misunderstood, and misinterpreted

○ 11 men froze

○ 1 man stepped out

Vs. 27 Jesus immediately said them “Take courage! Is it I. Don’t be afraid.” (Joshua 1)

● Jesus immediately identifies Himself

● Assures the disciples of His presence

● Calls them to courage, not based on their own abilities, but His being Him to them.

● Tells them there is no reason to fear, to be afraid.

So, we put Jesus to the test, and He, seems to be ok with that…He’s doesn’t seem to be threatened, or angry, or felt put upon, but in fact, He complies…

We should see that sometimes His compliance to our assertions can mean our own humiliation… and in that, growth in humility - which is not such a bad thing, as only the humble see God

Vs. 28-29 Peter and the waves… “...Lord, if it is , tell me to come to you on the water…”, in essence “prove it, show me”. Jesus replied “Come”

● He has Jesus before, He knew Jesus and watched Him work miracles in the lives of others

● Confident and focused, Peter challenges Jesus, and when called, goes out to Him…

● Peter sees and experiences Jesus’ power - that he had seen, but not understood - it had always been for someone else… but this, this is him!

Vs. 30 “But when Peter saw the wind… he was afraid, beginning to sink, he cried out ’Lord, save me!’”

● Distracted by the winds, having taken His eyes of Jesus, his courageous wains and he is afraid and begins to sink (Phil 4:4-8 “The Lord is near, be anxious about nothing”)

● Peter is reminded of his utter weakness and now is, and now, overwhelmed by his circumstances, he calls out

Vs. 31 “immediately Jesus reached out His hand and caught him. ‘You of little faith, why did you doubt?’”

● Jesus uses this moment as an opportunity to reveal Himself, that in Peter’s weakness, Jesus shows Himself, strong (2Cor 12:9-10)

● Peter humiliated/humbled, calls out, Jesus responds… as Peter finds himself in peril Jesus’ proves Himself

○ Faithful

○ Able

○ Devoted

● Peter and the disciples grow a little more in trust and let Him in

○ John 6:21 “then they were willing to let Him into the boat…”

Vs. 32-33 “And when He climbed into the boat, the wind died down. Then those who were in the boat worshiped Him, say ‘Truly you are the Son of God.’”

● When Jesus moves…

○ Truth, replaces lies

○ Clarity, replaces illusions

○ Relief, replaces dread

○ Peace, replaces tumult

○ Gratefulness, replaces despair

○ Trust, replaces doubt

○ Entrusting, replaces self-preservation

○ Reverent awe, replaces being afraid

○ Worship, drawing close, replaces reluctance, holding at a distance (Isa 29:13; Heb 10:1; 21-23)

Jesus, there, even when it doesn’t seem that way, peace… Matthew 14:22-35

And so it is so often with us… Jesus sends out, to go ahead of Him… it is not that He wasn’t , isn’t there, and won’t be there, He was, He is, and we can trust, that He will be.

Jesus, in sending them on ahead of Him is Implying that He will meet us there, Jesus knows the way, and we must trust Him – even if we didn’t hear Him say “I will be there”

  • Do we get that?

  • That every time we go out, Jesus lets us go ahead of Him…

  • Trust is not trust until it is put to the test

  • He did not say “I will see you there”, He just sent them “ahead of Him”, implying, “I will meet you there… this is important, because it becomes a matter of faith, to know, that if we go, He will be there – whether we hear it, or not.

  • So, we are then to “Go… make disciples… “ and trust in faith that He will meet us there

In the midst of life, Jesus lets us go ahead… and we can be confident that…

Jesus sees

Jesus comes to us in the waves, but not always...

  • How we imagine

  • Doing what we imagine

  • The way we imagine fact, sometimes, though His appearance may be to us startling, scary, even frightening

Sometimes we challenge Jesus to prove who He is and ask something of Him that will challenge us in a way, stretch us in a way, that we might not realize will place us even deeper into our circumstance. And this may be because we can only see Jesus in the deepest seas… and He knows that… And then, even there, seeing Him, feeling His effect, we look around and see the wind and panic, and lose sight, and now… Sometimes, wanting to be rescued, wanting relief, we move in faith, but maybe, without

  • Wisdom

  • Fully established trust

  • We might get ahead of ourselves…

Jesus calls and beckons, “come to me…”, trust me…

And He lets us come. Does not let us sink, does not give up on us, neither is He angry with us, but He does chasten us as to challenge us to trust Him more and not doubt

Peter did exert a certain amount of faith and trust, enough, to entrust his welfare to Jesus… but

  • Our attention can be drawn away

  • We are easily distracted

  • We are easily shaken

  • We are easily filled with fear and doubt

But, even if we do doubt… Jesus, knows all of this and so, remains, and not just… sees, comes, meets, and calls, but, knowing what we are made of, is patient, tolerant, kind, and there. In a very real way, Jesus is there. Jesus’ devotion to Peter is not affected by Peter’s doubt, but in fact, He responds with kindness (Rom 2). It is not that Jesus is rewarding doubt, but assuring Peter in the midst of doubt. Trust is built over time as Jesus demonstrates His devotion to us, His tending to us in spite of any opposition