Walking On Water

Devotional

Miracles in Our Hands


From the beginning of his ministry, Jesus sought to involve the disciples in signs, wonders and miracles. In my first book, Growing in Circles, I wrote about the way in which Jesus trained his disciples in a supernatural ministry of healing and deliverance to demonstrate the love of God and the nature of the Kingdom that he was bringing. This begins right from the initial choice of the disciples, where it says, “He appointed twelve, that they might be with him and that he might send them out to preach and have authority to drive out demons” (Mark 3:14-15). Being a disciple of Jesus has always meant learning to do the things that he did.


Jesus’ invitation to step into the supernatural is beautifully seen in one of the most well-known Bible stories, when Jesus walks on water and Peter tries to do the same (Matthew 14:22-33). Most believers accept that Jesus walked on water, but Peter is a different proposition! An ordinary human being, like you and me, certainly not divine and more often known for his weaknesses than his strengths, steps out of the boat at Jesus’ invitation and finds that the water bears him up as well. I find that profoundly encouraging, as well as profoundly challenging. In Walking on Water, Becky and I have found a wonderful metaphor that parallels our experiences of trying to join Jesus in the “more” of the Kingdom.


Before we consider that story in more detail, note that it comes immediately after Jesus had heard of the martyrdom of his cousin, John the Baptist, and had left the crowds to find a solitary place for prayer. However, the crowds would not let him escape that easily and followed him into that remote place, with the day drawing to a close and no food to sustain them. Though they had brought this on themselves, Jesus takes the little food that the disciples bring to him, blesses it, and directs them to distribute it amongst the crowd. As they did this, somehow everyone received sufficient to eat, with an impossible amount left over! Although he was the source of the miracle, it seems that it took place in the hands of the disciples as they broke the bread and fish. They were learning how much was possible with Jesus, but I wonder whether they really understood that he wants to work through us, not only nearby us? As we’ll see, eleven of them didn’t…