Matthew 8:23-27 Children can follow along in Spark 286.
27 They were amazed, saying, ‘What sort of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him?’
The miracles of Jesus can be quite a stumbling block for many people. They are often use to discredit Jesus, discredit the Bible, or simply discredit religion altogether. They have been used to test people's belief and understanding. Yet I truly believe there is another option that digs to the core of issue. It is one I continue to share (so my brief apology if you've already heard this - but it keeps coming up). When working with youth (and my own faith journey), I am far less concerned about whether they believe the Bible is factually true. Facts and science and history matter. They matter an awful lot. However, there is something deeper in the Bible story that we are reading. In some ways, it is more challenging than facts, science or history.
In this story the disciples are continuing their time with Jesus, and 8 chapters into Matthew, they are still being amazed. In fact, they continue reading the book of Acts, the journey doesn't stop. They are challenged with Gentiles, the meaning of circumcision, how to organize, and what their mission looks like after their leader leaves them. Read in that context, this story should not be a shock. It keeps reoccurring. Jesus never fails to alter our expectations. We are often left to wonder - what sort of person is this? For me, Jesus is a person that never gives up on the hope of love, forgiveness and transformation found through God. Jesus is not a wizard or magician, but a being filled with hope. That hope is not always easy, kind or soft. It is a hope that changes things. To change things you have to be ready to encounter and survive the storms. Jesus was so confident in God in my opinion, that he either knew the storm was no threat, or knew the storm would calm. Personally, I'm comfortable with both readings. But for me, that comfort comes from believing that God will regularly work outside my expectations and understanding. My faith journey is not about knowing the details, but committing to the journey. How committed are we today to God? If things looked entirely different than our individual hopes, would we follow God regardless? That is the daily question for me in my life, with my family, with my church, and in my neighborhood.
Now I'm going to go find my ELO playlist...
Events & Evites:
Tory - Pastor of Children and Youth Faith Formation.