Gospel Reflection

The Tenth Sunday after Pentecost

Proper 14

Many modern Biblical scholars find Jesus’ “waterwalking” in this week’s Gospel lesson an especially difficult miracle to swallow, since its sole purpose seems to be to show Jesus’ mastery over nature. This skepticism isn’t limited to just contemporary scholars either. Even the author of the Gospel According to Luke apparently was unwilling to record it, for there is no mention of the walking on the water in that Gospel despite the fact that the story must have been well known at the time that Luke was written.

So, why is this story recorded in the Gospel according to Matthew? John Ames, a pastor and church planter, explains: “This is a story to encourage the church of the first century. The audience for whom the author of Matthew’s gospel was writing was a small community battered by the waves of persecution—Jesus at times must have seemed a long way away. The wind was against them and their voyage a struggle. This story tells them to take heart, Jesus prays for them and will come to them even in seemingly impossible ways.”

Jesus will come to them; what a concept! This is what we must remember. That Jesus will come to us – to comfort us, to offer us refuge, to show us a better way to live. So many people, like Peter in this story, head out into the unknown to find Jesus…but Jesus is already here, within us, beside us, all around us. We do not need to go out searching for Jesus, we just need to open our hearts and let Jesus come to us. Peace!