While listening and reading the Bible this morning I had two thoughts… well more than two, but two predominant thoughts come to mind.
Now pay attention, I mean no disrespect to the apostles, disciples, scripture, Jesus, or biblical teachings.
I am a firm believer in Jesus Christ but the following views were what my mind grasped today.
I was in the book Matthew and it came to the point when Peter is about to walk on water out to Jesus.
In the Holman Christian Standard Bible it mentions how the disciples are flipping out and they start wondering if they are seeing a spirit on the water. Of course use seeing the top down view we know that it was actually Jesus.
Then Jesus calls out to them and says (to paraphrase and modernize it) “Hey Yo! Chill guys, its just me!”
When Peter hears this he responds with, “If it really is you, command me to come out on the water to you”
Have you ever wondered how stupid of a response that is?
First off I don’t know what they thought, but imagine if you were out there and you saw someone walking on the water to you in a storm. Then that person claims to your teacher and mentor. Yet its not humanly possible. So all your friends on the ship start claiming its a spirit.
Lets ask the hypothetical questions that would come up if it had been Jesus.
What if it was a demonic spirit? Or an evil spirit? Could it be a good spirit? Maybe.
We wouldn’t have known.
Lets just imagine that instead of Jesus it had been a spirit. Who is to say that the spirit would intend to do good towards the disciples?
Did they, the disciples, just assume that a spirit would not/could not lie?
Follow me as I set the scenario up:
During the midst of a dark and thunderous storm a small ship is tossed in the waves.
On the ship we find 12 men who cling for dear life as the waves rise higher and higher around them.
Water spills over the sides of the ship soaking every man to the core.
In the distance someone catches a glimpse of a figure coming on the water towards you.
You’re at least a mile out into the sea. When is the last time you heard of someone walking on water?
Lighting flashes across the sky and you see the figure of a man slowly coming toward you.
But it can’t be a man. Man cannot cross on top of the water by merely walking.
Someone cries out “Ghost”, another shouts “a spirit!”, yet another says, “it is a demon”.
Then the “spirit” says, “Fear not, its me, Jesus!”
Your friend Peter gets up and responds, “If it is you, tell me to come out there to you!”
Pause and just think about that.
Peter is going on complete faith here. Why?
a. He knows if it is Jesus, then someone Jesus will save him.
b. He is betting his life that it isn’t a spirit that wants him to commit suicide by jumping into the water during a storm.
Are you following me still?
If you call out to someone in the dark, and tell them that to confirm their identity that they need to tell you to “come to them”…. Maybe I’ve seen to many TV shows where the bad guy takes the opportunity to lead you out and then attack. Maybe I just don’t have enough faith. But I will give it to Peter, it was a gutsy move.
I mean come on, how many of us, if we encountered a spirit, would assume that it would completely honest about who it is and to prove it we ask it to command us to put our lives in danger.
Its mind boggling. It is also one of the stupidest responses ever. I’m sorry it is. Its a great show of faith but its so out there that any sane person when you read it slower still has to ask, “…… what?”
Peter could have been deceived and plunged to his death.
Thankfully that didn’t happen. But still, think about the amount of faith it had to take to follow through. Not to mention to respond with: prove you are who you are by telling me to put my life in danger.
It is remarkable.
Now lets jump to the a little later.
Jesus gets in the boat (with Peter whom he rescued because Peter took his attention off of Jesus) and the storm stops. Just instantly. Bam! Done, storm over.
What do the disciples do ? They say the same thing they do at most glorious experiences, “You are the son of God!” “You are the Messiah!”
And if you read the Bible and plow through the chapters you start asking yourself how come they keep repeating themselves when just a few verses ago we had the same praise to Jesus coming from their mouths.
My impression is that it is the same reason why when Jesus tried to explain things to them they seemed to never be able to grasp it.
I personally think it comes down to the Holy Spirit.
As believers we sometimes forget that the Holy Spirit has the power and mind to show us and reveal mysteries to us that people who still have the blinders of sin attached cannot comprehend.
The Holy Spirit is the one who Jesus said would reveal stuff to us.
So when the disciples were around Jesus, yes they had Jesus with them, and yes they were following Him, but they didn’t have the full understanding power till the day of Pentecost.
Without the extra glasses and ability to comprehend from the Holy Spirit its easy to see why they were baffled.
Though they were followers of Christ the mysteries were as dark to them as a none believer.
With us having the full picture, and the help of the Holy Spirit to understand things about the scripture it is hard for us to think about how the disciples would have experienced anything.
Faith. Lots of faith.
Therefore before we go get on the case of the disciples and children of Israel for not knowing and understanding God/Jesus and His commands think about how they didn’t have the spirit of God resting on them like all believers would after the day of Pentecost.
Without the Holy Spirit you would be a very blind sheep too.