“And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?” — Matthew 14:31
As the leadership of the nation of Israel reject Jesus and as the people as a whole will soon reject Him, Jesus spends more and more time training and teaching His disciples.
The first big miracle Matthew records after the leaders of the nation reject Jesus is the feeding of the 5000 men along with women and children. This miracle seems to be more about building the disciples faith than it does feeding the hungry.
Jesus first tells his disciples to feed the people. Then He takes the small lunch they give Him and multiplies it. Finally, He blesses that lunch and gives them enough to feed everyone and have 12 baskets left over. They learned that, as they come to Jesus, He can give them what they need to meet the needs of others.
Immediately after this miracle, Jesus “constrained” (compelled, urged with, put pressure on) them to get into a ship and cross over the sea. That night, halfway across the sea, they will face a huge storm. Jesus will come walking on the sea to them. He will urge Peter to come to Him on the Sea, lift him when he sinks, and calm the storm and the fears of His disciples.
All of this was designed to build the faith of His disciples, reveal where they have unnecessary fears, and teach them to trust Jesus in and for everything.
What is Jesus allowing our lives today that is designed to teach us and equip us? How are allowing fear to hold us back? May God help us realise that:
- He is all we need.
- He knows what we are going through.
- He comes to us in our hour of need
- Nothing is outside of His control.