Jesus saw the huge crowd as he stepped from the boat, and he had compassion on them and healed their sick. That evening the disciples came to him and said, “This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. Send the crowds away so they can go to the villages and buy food for themselves.” But Jesus said, “That isn’t necessary-you feed them.” “But we have only five loaves of bread and two fish!” they answered. “Bring them here,” he said. Then he told the people to sit down on the grass. Jesus took the five loaves and two fish, looked up toward heaven, and blessed them. Then, breaking the loaves into pieces, he gave the bread to the disciples, who distributed it to the people. They all ate as much as they wanted, and afterward, the disciples picked up twelve baskets of leftovers. About 5,000 men were fed that day, in addition to all the women and children! (Matthew 14:14-21, NLT)
They all ate as much as they wanted, and afterward, the disciples picked up twelve baskets of leftovers. You will find in Saint John’s account of this event that Jesus told His disciples to, “Gather the leftovers so that nothing is wasted.”
Immediately after this, Jesus insisted that his disciples get back into the boat and cross to the other side of the lake, while he sent the people home. After sending them home, he went up into the hills by himself to pray. Night fell while he was there alone. Meanwhile, the disciples were in trouble far away from land, for a strong wind had risen, and they were fighting heavy waves. About three o’clock in the morning Jesus came toward them, walking on the water. When the disciples saw him walking on the water, they were terrified. In their fear, they cried out, “It’s a ghost!” But Jesus spoke to them at once. “Don’t be afraid,” he said. “Take courage. I am here!” Then Peter called to him, “Lord, if it’s really you, tell me to come to you, walking on the water.” “Yes, come,” Jesus said. So Peter went over the side of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus. But when he saw the strong wind and the waves, he was terrified and began to sink. “Save me, Lord!” he shouted. Jesus immediately reached out and grabbed him. “You have so little faith,” Jesus said. “Why did you doubt me?” When they climbed back into the boat, the wind stopped. Then the disciples worshiped him. “You really are the Son of God!” they exclaimed. (Matthew 14:22-33, NLT)
The disciples were in trouble. A strong wind had risen and they were fighting heavy waves.
When they saw Jesus they were terrified. Why? They didn’t recognize Him. The storm was too much and He showed up in a way they had not expected.
From Saint Mark’s account:
Late that night, the disciples were in their boat in the middle of the lake, and Jesus was alone on land. He saw that they were in serious trouble, rowing hard and struggling against the wind and waves. About three o’clock in the morning Jesus came toward them, walking on the water. He intended to go past them, but when they saw him walking on the water, they cried out in terror, thinking he was a ghost. They were all terrified when they saw him. But Jesus spoke to them at once. “Don’t be afraid,” he said. “Take courage! I am here!” Then he climbed into the boat, and the wind stopped. They were totally amazed, for they still didn’t understand the significance of the miracle of the loaves. Their hearts were too hard to take it in. (Mark 6:47-52, NLT)
I found it interesting that “[Jesus] intended to go past them.” But when they saw Him walking on the water and they cried out in terror – Jesus was compelled to comfort them.
And when Jesus got in the boat the storm stopped.
Where am I going with all of this? How does this relate to us now?
If you feel that you are in trouble. If you feel that you are fighting through a storm in this life. If you feel like you are alone. You get a hold of some of those leftovers from a miracle that you have experienced before. Leftovers from a past answered prayer. Remember what God is capable of. Expect God to show up when you least expect it and in a way that you wouldn’t expect. And while you are waiting for Him to show up in the midst of the storm you are battling – continue to cry out to Him. And take courage because we now have the promise that He will never leave us or forsake us (Reference Hebrews 13:5b).
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