YOU ARE CERTAINLY GOD'S SON!
Let me take a few steps back from our main story and start at the beginning of Matthew chapter 14. As we travel this journey of seeking the Lord through behold moments, we arrive at Jesus walking on water after He has revealed the beauty of His heart, His humility and the depth of His love in the verses preceding this account. Approaching our big behold moment takes us to the heart of Jesus - the purpose of seeking His face.
Jesus had just learned that John the baptist was dead. He had been killed and beheaded at the orders of Herod Antipas. We know that John was dear to Jesus, not just a relative but a partner in Jesus’ work on earth. We are told that as soon as Jesus heard this news, He left to be alone. He had climbed into a boat and was looking for a remote place. If you have ever had someone or something - anything - to grieve, you know time alone is necessary and desired. This news would consume the best of us. Jesus didn’t have much time to be alone though. The crowds couldn’t get enough of Him and followed Him everywhere. They heard where He was and made their way towards Him. If it was me, I would make my desires known and tell the crowds to come back later - way later. But we are told that Jesus has compassion on the crowd and healed their sick. This was their desire and Jesus humbled Himself and healed them even when it would be a moment of ‘I just don’t feel like it’.
From here the day fades to evening and the disciples say its time to send the people away so they can go eat. Remember they are in a remote place and food trucks hadn’t been invented yet! Okay! Here is your chance Jesus - get that solitude you need. Nope - that’s not His heart. Jesus says, “you feed them”. The disciples are confused but bring forward the five loaves and two fish present on that hill. Jesus asks the people to sit and He blesses that small offering. Five thousand men and an unspecified number of women and children ate that evening on the hillside. There was more leftover than they began with after everyone ate as much as they wanted.
The crowds had been following Jesus because of His healing hand and the miracles He preformed. They were in awe of Him and His works but as they followed Him from town to country side and back again, they were seeking the hands of Jesus and not His heart. They, and the disciples still didn’t know the heart of Jesus - the Source of the miracles. We often find ourselves here too. Coming with our list of requests and desires and vending machine prayers. But first we need to come and stand still before the Lord and ask Him what He wants for us, ask Him about Himself, what is His will, and how do we fit into it - not the other way around.
We have now seen, the heart, the compassion, the humility, and love of Jesus and come back to remember He is still looking for that time alone. He wanted to be with the Father and pray so He sends His disciples on their way, across the lake in a boat.
A storm was brewing and the disciples were out on the water, in trouble, and panicking. Strong winds and heavy waves are no one’s friend but we can understand better the might of this storm when we remember there were professional fishermen on this boat. Men who had been on troubled waters before.
But there is One who is greater than the mightiest storm and His name is Jesus! He comes down the hill and to the edge of the stormy lake. Not stopping there, He continues towards the disciples - walking on the water. Once He is near enough to be noticed the disciples are terrified by the sight and assume a ghost is approaching. Then comes the beautiful words of Jesus we all long to hear in our storms, “Don’t be afraid! Take courage, I am here!”
Don’t be afraid! Take Courage! I am here! - Don’t miss this, He says. Behold, I am with you! How can we respond to this comfort? Peter says to the Lord, “if it is really You, tell me to come to You, walking on the water.” The courage to do what Jesus was doing. Do we have faith like that? Faith to say to the Lord, I see You, I see what You are doing and I want to join You.
Peter hears the call he needs, “Yes, Come!”. So he steps over the rocking side of the boat, onto the mighty waves they have been battling, the strong wind pushing into his body, and he walks. Peter looks forward to Jesus, wet but focused on the face of the One he has given his life to follow. Jesus, staring back, pleased with the faith Peter is displaying. Like a mirror reflection, these two men get closer and closer. The wind moving their clothes and face to the same side. But then in that moment Peter sees again the waves and wind around himself, he starts to sink. Fear had overcome him again and his feelings overpowered his faith. A cry for help and immediately Jesus stretches out His hand to lift Peter from the water coming up around him.
Together they climb back into the boat and the wind stopped. Behold! Stand still and be in awe - the disciples worshiped the Lord and declare, “You really are the Son of God!”. This behold moment took the disciples from that place of seeking the hand of Jesus to knowing He was the Source Himself. The One and only Son of God, fully human but fully God among them.
Fix your eyes on Jesus - the Son of God. You will know His heart better and better and come out looking like Him more and more to those around you. Seek Him and a faith that is bigger than your feelings. He is bigger than the storms around you.
But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit. - 2 Corinthians 3:18